August 2020 Archives

August 31

2020: The Year of Chiune Sugihara

In October 2019, the Lithuanian Parliament approved the initiative to name 2020 the Year of Chiune Sugihara (Delfi.en), to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Japanese diplomat’s noble work, and celebrate what would be his 120th birthday. The celebratory peak of the year is Sugihara Week (Visit Kaunas), the event which celebrates the actions of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara (Sugihara Week). For 29 days, from July 31 to August 28, 1940, he issued more than 6,000 "Visas for Life" (, saving thousands of Jewish refugees. [via Mltshp] [Previously] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 4:16 PM PST - 8 comments

Oh no! Not DEVO!

DEVO's Mark Mothersbaugh nearly died from COVID-19. “Everything’s become more devolved than I would have imagined possible." [SLLAT]
posted by Capt. Renault at 3:48 PM PST - 32 comments


The New York Times is ending its print television listings after 81 years. “We are firmly in the streaming age and the TV grid no longer reflects the way people consume television.” @noahchestnut on why they lasted so long, and what they could become in the future.
posted by adrianhon at 2:40 PM PST - 28 comments

Challenge Accepted

Dave Grohl is in an adorable remote drum battle with a 10-year-old named Nandi Bushell.
posted by chavenet at 2:15 PM PST - 32 comments

"Let me guess: fuel is sacred too."

InterGalactic Medicine Show was an online magazine publishing short science fiction and fantasy stories. After it ceased publication in 2019, it took down its paywall so now all its archives -- hundreds of original short stories and reprints, with original illustrations, and some also available as audio -- are free to read. Includes stories by Naomi Kritzer, Holli Mintzer, and Tim Pratt. Title is from the sweet, comic "For Sale: Veterinary Practice On Sigma 4; Certain Conditions Apply" by Jared Oliver Adams from the final issue.
posted by brainwane at 12:08 PM PST - 6 comments

PT Anderson directs Thom Yorke in ANIMA

Along with his new self-described “dystopian” solo album ANIMA, Thom Yorke has released a companion one-reeler of the same name, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Shot in Prague and Les Baux-de-Provence, the short film (watch here) follows Yorke dozing off while riding an underground train. When he finds himself unable to exit the station, he leaps across the turnstile and lands into a surreal world where he dances with a small army of people. [more inside]
posted by waving at 11:42 AM PST - 6 comments

DIY Covid Vaccine

Among those who’ve taken the DIY vaccine is George Church, the celebrity geneticist at Harvard University, who took two doses a week apart earlier this month. The doses were dropped in his mailbox, and he mixed the ingredients himself. SLmittechreview
posted by sammyo at 8:40 AM PST - 67 comments

The Literature of White Liberalism

Whether white people’s racial or emotional literacy can meaningfully contribute to abolitionist projects or Black freedom struggles is a long-contested story, particularly in the U.S. left. In its class-first and class-only zeal, the New Left purposefully expelled Black feminist and women of color epistemologies from left politics in the latter half of the twentieth century and thus bequeathed a disdain for and ignorance of Black feminism that the millennial and zoomer left must now scramble to resolve. Indeed, what is particularly interesting about the furor over the literature of white liberalism is how many—and which—white people think they are already too woke for its lessons. [more inside]
posted by jshttnbm at 7:22 AM PST - 28 comments

Theo Testing Food

There are many food review channels on Youtube. There's only one where the food is being reviewed by a rat named Theo.
posted by dominik at 12:47 AM PST - 9 comments

August 30

An Awkward, Anomalous Step, Usually Skipped

Emma Copley Eisenberg delves into the process of fact checking nonfiction books – who does it, how much does it cost, and who pays for it?
posted by adrianhon at 2:05 PM PST - 22 comments

Uncle Roger is disappointed with your egg fried rice recipe

Niece and nephew, Uncle Roger is here to let you know that these egg fried rice (Hersha Patel) recipes are terrible (Jamie Oliver) hiyaaaaaaa.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:11 AM PST - 87 comments

"I decide that it is practical for me to find it attractive"

Silly, fun, or heartwarming scifi stories published this year about robots & AI include "A Guide for Working Breeds" by Vina Jie-Min Prasad (author of "Fandom for Robots" (2017), previously), "Custom Options Available" by Amy Griswold, and "Rager in Space" by Charlie Jane Anders. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:14 AM PST - 10 comments

Rain, desperation & porridge. The venue looks like Clare Grogan’s lounge

Rhodri Marsden writes about his band touring Scotland in 1990SLMedium travelling in the back of a Luton van (box truck) — “We made [getting in the truck that morning] more difficult than it should have been by making an elementary mistake: loitering around the van on a main thoroughfare and waiting for a suitable moment to climb in, in a way that made us look as guilty as fuck. The local police drove past twice, looking very interested in what we were or were not doing. [more inside]
posted by ambrosen at 5:59 AM PST - 8 comments

"we’re not dealing with people who can be swayed by facts"

Yesterday thousands of far right extremists and QAnon supporters protested in the German capital against the Coronavirus lockdown measures (NBC News) and even tried to storm the Reichstag (Guardian | Euronews), resulting in hundreds of arrests (BBC News) as "authorities said the protesters violated court orders on health and safety" (Deutsche Welle). As this particular brand of conspiracism takes hold also outside the US, the question is now more than ever: What should we do about QAnon now that it has gone mainstream? (Columbia Journalism Review) [more inside]
posted by bitteschoen at 5:28 AM PST - 161 comments

The US and UK are running death squads in Kenya

Clandestine Kenyan team has been paid and assisted by the CIA to take down terror suspects since 2004. “We’re really hands-on. We don’t just hand them the money once a month”, one US official said.

“Unconstitutional killings” include a family man wrongly slain due to mistaken identity, and allegations a terror suspect was summarily executed.

Britain’s MI6 plays a key role in identifying suspects for a ‘kill or capture’ list and finding and fixing their location.
The CIA and MI6 run a paramilitary execution squad in Kenya (part 2), started under Bush and continuing under Obama and Trump.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:35 AM PST - 11 comments

August 29

Happy Bird Day

Charles Christopher "Yardbird" Parker, thought by many to be the greatest jazz musician who ever lived, was born in Kansas City, Kansas, one hundred years ago today. [more inside]
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 11:31 PM PST - 14 comments

"She directs the entire cast from her laptop."

SF Shakespeare Festival is live streaming King Lear and it's the best Zoom theater you've ever seen. No, seriously, this is THE BEST PRODUCTION technology-wise I've seen done on live Zoom filming. It runs through the end of September on weekends. You should see it. I say this as someone who isn't a fan of the plot of King Lear or eye squick, but the filming of this is AMAZING. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:35 PM PST - 12 comments

The Problem Of Watching World News Through White Eyes Only

Only about 0.2% of British journalists are black, compared to 3% of our country’s population. When it comes to the ethnic backgrounds of UK foreign correspondents, figures are scant – but the picture appears to be even less diverse. Marcus Ryder examines why looking at world news through only white people’s eyes is a problem for all of us.
posted by infini at 3:06 PM PST - 3 comments

Vanity Fair's September issue, guest-edited by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates guest-edits Vanity Fair's September issue. Featuring Coates's interviews with Breonna Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer; Eve Ewing on police unions; Ava DuVernay in conversation with Angela Davis; and much more. (Note: You can read some articles for free but will eventually hit a paywall.)
posted by ferret branca at 2:39 PM PST - 4 comments

Zeus is always angry at someone

Real time lightning strike maps . How it works.
posted by gwint at 1:42 PM PST - 18 comments

First Person Soother

LIKELIKE ONLINE, the online games... space? neo-arcade? museum? is going 3D with an exhibition of six games experimenting with the first person perspective. From diaristic stop motion to abstract soundscapes, all the pieces are playable in just a few minutes and from the comfort of your home. Opening Friday September 4th!
posted by adrianhon at 1:35 PM PST - 3 comments

District 9 was Packed

With the 2020 US Census underway, we are due to see a lot of redistricting in 2021, which determines who votes for which representatives at the state and national levels. With that in mind, let's take a look at the recent history of gerrymandering in the US, and what's going on in redistricting reform efforts... [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 1:25 PM PST - 5 comments

hashtag math isn't real

Earlier this week, teenager Gracie Cunningham posted a minute long TikTok asking questions like "how do mathematicians know where to look for formulas?" and "how do they know that their formulas are right?" After being roundly mocked for a day or so by trolls both anonymous and famous, she posted a new TikTok, clarifying her original questions and adding a final one: "Why are the only people disagreeing with me the ones who are dumb, while the physicists and mathematicians are agreeing with me?"
posted by Navelgazer at 11:22 AM PST - 130 comments

Rewriting Country Music’s Racist History

Rewriting Country Music’s Racist History (Rolling Stone) - Artists like Yola and Rhiannon Giddens are blowing up what Giddens calls a “manufactured image of country music being white and being poor”: At some point, it became an accepted cultural narrative that country music is the domain of white people. This has never been the case, but more to the point, it has never been further from the truth than right now. The myth persists while a number of black artists are challenging its foundation, hiding in plain sight on the country charts or on tours or on the radio. They don’t care much for that myth. They tell a different story. And they tell it damn well. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 11:18 AM PST - 15 comments

"I apologize for disturbing you, Ensign"

Eight tiny scifi/fantasy stories and what-if suggestions about aliens, monsters, etc. trying to understand humans, and vice versa. Including "I dunno, dude. This ‘light’ stuff sounds like a bunch of mumbo jumbo to me. I mean, how do we know it’s even real?" and "This is both relateable and aspirational in some fashion, for, alive humans SUCH AS OURSELVES… self-deprecating remark…" [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 8:02 AM PST - 9 comments

Badass Anarchists Save Lives

The Street artist Banksy has funded a refugee rescue boat operating in Mediterranean that has already rescued 89 people.
The Pink former french fast customs vessel is named after the extraordinary anarchist and communard Louise Michel (previously) and is Captained by the equally radical and dedicated Pia Klemp. “Banksy won’t pretend that he knows better than us how to run a ship, and we won’t pretend to be artists.” An ex Sea Shepard captain Pia Klemp is no stranger to migrant rescue and the consequences and last year she turned down a Paris Medal calling the city hypocritical. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 6:29 AM PST - 18 comments

August 28

We Are What We Steal

Crimes are a reflection of the period and society in which they occur. What happened, the objects and people involved, the location, how it was recorded - or even if it was recorded - all tell us something about the values, attitudes, and power structures of the day. This data visualisation looks at the almost 20 million words that were written in the New South Wales Police Gazette and Weekly Record of Crime from the beginning of 1860 up until the end of 1900* to see what it shows about how the people, places, and things, changed in NSW over that period. [more inside]
posted by CCBC at 11:30 PM PST - 8 comments

It Was Never Enough

"Reed felt a strong sense of urgency. Here, he thought, is a guy who can drive or fly just about any vehicle, with ties to foreign governments, who is known to use satellite phones and pay in cash, and who deals with foreign corporations that would give him funding outside U.S. jurisdiction. He wanted to get T. R. into custody before he fled the country, never to be seen again.""I got to the point where I was probably too arrogant and cocky for my own good,” T. R. said. “I thought that I would never be arrested, or that I could buy my way out of it. That’s how things work in the rest of the world.” SL TM
posted by blue shadows at 8:20 PM PST - 14 comments

Chadwick Boseman, the Black Panther, has died

Variety reports the actor was 42 years old. The Black Panther star has battled colon cancer since 2016, Variety said, linking to a tweet on the actor's account. “It was the honor of his life to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.”
posted by kitten kaboodle at 7:46 PM PST - 215 comments

Mucical interlude

JS Bach on a wooden xylophone in the forest A small youtube video of the sinple, yet complex musical instrument. [more inside]
posted by mightshould at 3:03 PM PST - 14 comments

Capturing the secrets of the New York City subway

Patrick Cashin worked as the MTA’s official photographer, documenting the ins and outs of one of the world’s busiest transit systems.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 2:36 PM PST - 6 comments

“Let’s pause here and take some questions.”

[“The South Asian Speakers Series Presents the Archeologist and Adventurer Indiana Jones” by Tania James] is the eighth story in this summer’s [New Yorker] online Flash Fiction series. You can read the entire series, and our Flash Fiction stories from previous years, here.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:43 AM PST - 16 comments

The Demise of the (British) Second-Hand Bookshop

Alexander Larman on why Oxfam charity bookshops, “as tremendous as they are, may be the end of the second-hand bookseller.” [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 11:21 AM PST - 23 comments

A Century of the Brooklyn Bethel

In 1908, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society purchased two five-story brownstones and a church in Brooklyn, New York. This collection of buildings (along with numerous other neighboring properties purchased over the years) would serve as the headquarters for the Jehovah's Witnesses for over a century. Brownstoner has a history of the headquarters written at the time of the massive property's sale in 2016 to everyone's least favorite son-in-law (the Jehovah's Witnesses moved their operation upstate to Warwick). Earlier this year, as part of the effort to transform this secretive compound into an office and retail complex, walls that once locked the property up tight were torn down and eleven elaborate gardens were planted facing out to the street.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:09 AM PST - 8 comments

It's a bird, it's a plane... No, it's a train!

A film from 1902 of the oldest electric elevated railway in the world.
posted by bq at 10:48 AM PST - 26 comments

Press F to commit war crimes, but with more gender diversity this time

The next Call of Duty game, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, has announced an expansion to its "gender" options for the player: "Male", "Female", and... "Classified". For gamers and political operatives excited about innovations in reputation laundering and imperialist propaganda, Ronald Reagan will feature prominently in the game as an eerily realistic character who encourages and enables the player to commit war crimes in the name of the "entire free world". Despite all this, Treyarch Studios maintains it is "not trying to make a political statement of any kind". [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 10:07 AM PST - 36 comments

"spotted cool things their listing bots had mislabeled and underpriced"

"Mika was careful. But you heard stories." In the short, sweet scifi story "Legal Salvage" by Holli Mintzer, a vintage seller navigates a forgotten building of self-storage lockers, an unfamiliar sorting bot, Geoff the sentient traffic light, and a party. Part of Slate's Future Tense Fiction series, in partnership with Arizona State University's Center for Science and the Imagination. Thematically related to Mintzer's "Tomorrow Is Waiting" (previously; MeFi's Own!).
posted by brainwane at 7:24 AM PST - 13 comments

A Chinese scholar is domesticated by his cat

The year is 1183. The process is described in a few short poems.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 4:32 AM PST - 35 comments

US Post Office Murals

Searching for America’s 1930s post office murals: a photo essay at The Guardian by photographer Justin Hamel. Another article, by Winnie Lee, about Hamel's project at Atlas Obscura. More photos from the project at Hamel's website. Wikipedia has a list of United States post office murals.
posted by misteraitch at 1:24 AM PST - 16 comments

August 27

Zipper-mouth face

'This appears to be the first time that a court in Australia has been asked to rule on the capacity of an emoji to convey defamatory meaning...'
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:39 PM PST - 26 comments

Have you ever asked if a face can be engraved on an egg with a laser?

Of course you have. And it is possible. For those who just want to watch, the video.
posted by clawsoon at 4:19 PM PST - 17 comments

The biggest thing to happen to aviation and travel in 50 years

Secretive aerospace company Otto has unveiled the Celera 500L. The super efficient aircraft seats six and has up to ten times the fuel efficiency of a private jet while offering similar speeds. With a range of up to 4,500 miles, it could theoretically fly between any two airports in the continental U.S. without refueling. [more inside]
posted by chrchr at 2:08 PM PST - 91 comments

Electrify Everything

Saul Griffith (previously) has a new organization called Rewiring America, which is promoting a plan to cut carbon emissions in the US by 70-80% by 2035 using existing technologies, while creating 15-20 million jobs over the next decade. Listen of Griffith on The Ezra Klein Show explain his vision for decarbonization and, more recently, about how to put the Rewiring America plan into practice.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:45 PM PST - 21 comments

A Cozy Management Game About Dying

Natalie Flores on Spiritfarer, a heartbreaking and heartwarming meditation on life where the player becomes “a ferry master to the deceased whose job is to help them pass on to the afterlife. By caring for them and helping them fulfill their wishes, you allow the spirits to wrap up the loose ends in their lives that otherwise keep them from achieving peace.” [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 11:18 AM PST - 31 comments

how to challenge power differentials with data

Data science is a form of power. It has been used to expose injustice, improve health outcomes, and topple governments. But it has also been used to discriminate, police, and surveil. This potential for good, on the one hand, and harm, on the other, makes it essential to ask: Data science by whom? Data science for whom? Data science with whose interests in mind? The narratives around big data and data science are overwhelmingly white, male, and techno-heroic. In Data Feminism, Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren Klein present a new way of thinking about data science and data ethics—one that is informed by intersectional feminist thought. Read and download Data Feminism on MIT Press's open access platform. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 11:01 AM PST - 12 comments

Never, ever, anger a librarian

When self-proclaimed (and allegedly ailing) "man of the people" Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson spoke in a Leicestershire school library, people started to notice the choice of books positioned on a shelf behind him. These included The Subtle Knife, Fahrenheit 451, Betrayed, The Resistance, and The Twits. But in a plot twist, the specific books were not positioned for Boris - but they were positioned deliberately for someone else...
posted by Wordshore at 9:41 AM PST - 25 comments

This is what makes Batman an advertisement for abusive policing

One of the big problems with "dark and gritty" Batman movies is that the people writing them can't craft a mystery that's so complex only Batman can solve it, so Batman's "superpower" ends up being "the ability to violate people's Constitutional rights." #defundbatman
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:56 AM PST - 130 comments

The Christchurch shooter has been sentenced.

The Christchurch shooter has been sentenced "Your crimes, however, are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die, it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation." The terrorist who killed 51 people attacking mosques in Christchurch on March 15th 2019 has been sentenced to life without parole. He will never leave prison. (Warning: graphic violence described in all these links). [more inside]
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:33 AM PST - 31 comments

August 26

Our focus today cannot be on basketball

In response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, and the Kenosha Police Department giving armed white supremacists free rein in the city, the Milwaukee Bucks as a team refused to take the floor for game 5 of their first round playoff series against the Orlando Magic. The Magic, left the floor, too, refusing to accept a win by forfeit. The NBA quickly announced all three games scheduled would be postponed. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah at 7:23 PM PST - 79 comments

Flexures, flextures, compliant mechanisms

Fixtures that work because part of them is flexible. [more inside]
posted by clew at 6:33 PM PST - 9 comments

Tone Policing is a Silencing Tactic

What is Tone policing? This web comic "No We Won't Calm Down" explains the basics, but there is so much more to understand. [more inside]
posted by Chrysopoeia at 6:00 PM PST - 13 comments

A solute and solvent mashup (8 letters)

How To Solve the New York Times Crossword. "A crossword puzzle is not a test of intelligence, and solving is not really about the size of your vocabulary. Becoming a good solver is about understanding what the clues are asking you to do."
posted by storybored at 2:09 PM PST - 90 comments

It was supposed to be magazines …

Jason Scott of the Internet Archive discovers a huge trove of printing and typewriter lore in the Tytell collection. [more inside]
posted by scruss at 1:53 PM PST - 12 comments

Textile Eye Candy

CLOTH#20 is 2020's online offering of an annual textile makers and designers exhibit and sale. Just barely international, but mostly Scottish, the exibition showcases 50 craftspeople and designers. You can ogle the goods and some demo videos from the main page, or click through to individual maker websites.
posted by janell at 1:19 PM PST - 6 comments

The Workshop Has Been Blown Up

For eight years, Matthew Kent’s Blowing Up The Workshop online mixtape series has semi-regularly published intriguing ambient/dance/found sound/something tapes. Previously by, er, me.
Now, Kent is ending the whole shebang in a burst of seven mixes by
LCP of re:st (ambient and dnb) • AkashCCLChris SSG (ambient) • SL CommsKent himself (dnb-ish) • Sandy of Dr Banana (UKG)
posted by Going To Maine at 11:20 AM PST - 5 comments

When the World Shut Down, They Saw It Open

The pandemic has made work and social life more accessible for many, but people with disabilities are wondering whether virtual accommodations will last (NYT)
posted by adrianhon at 11:15 AM PST - 16 comments

Speaking as a user, WTF? I thought I had location tracking turned off.

"The current UI feels like it is designed to make things possible, yet difficult enough that people won’t figure it out." Newly unsealed and partially unredacted documents from a consumer fraud suit the state of Arizona filed against Google show that company employees knew and discussed among themselves that the company's location privacy settings were confusing and potentially misleading. (via: arstechnica) [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 10:33 AM PST - 30 comments

Maria Mitchell, 1st Female Professional U.S. Astronomer, and Suffragist

Maria Mitchell, suffragist, and the first female U.S. professional astronomer. 100 years ago today, August 26, 1920, was when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was finally certified and placed into law. In honor of that, here is a story on Maria Mitchell, suffragist, and the first female U.S. professional astronomer. [more inside]
posted by gudrun at 10:28 AM PST - 3 comments

The Bromantic Theory of History

Years ago, I fact-checked two memoirs by powerful men. Their books wised me up to an invisible poltergeist in world events: the feverish infatuation of one straight man for another.
posted by latkes at 10:06 AM PST - 23 comments

One Iconic Look

Tom and Lorenzo discuss - A black dress with pearls. A yellow plaid suit. A blue checked pinafore. What makes these outfits so striking, so Halloween-costumable, so iconic? [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 8:58 AM PST - 14 comments

soothing nature sounds

Listen to the dawn chorus in an old growth Bornean rain forest. Sit beside a river in a forest preserve at noon. Hear the sun going down in a logged and regrowing forest patch. Wake up in the middle of the night during a rainstorm in an old growth forest. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 6:45 AM PST - 3 comments

North and South

Major hurricane Laura is bearing down on the Gulf Coast with possible rapid intensification. Meanwhile, off the coast of Asia, Typhoon Bavi is soon to make landfall in North Korea. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:39 AM PST - 51 comments

How does "you guys" work in English? Linguistically?

Linguist Bronwyn M. Bjorkman considers the English phrase "you guys". " guys looks like an English pronoun (or at least not like an ordinary noun phrase) in its irregular possessive morphology and in allowing bound variable interpretations, but unlike a pronoun in its position with verb particles and in resisting repetition." She discusses whether the phrase "perpetuates the idea that masculine is the default, and so is something we should avoid using". [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 3:33 AM PST - 227 comments

Bouter Le Poliomyelite Hors d'Afrique

Africa declared free of wild polio after decades of work [Grauniad] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:24 AM PST - 5 comments

America's Right Turn 1976-1980

How Ronald Reagan Triumphed - "Rick Perlstein's 'Reaganland' completes his multivolume survey of American conservatism with the 1980 election victory of Ronald Reagan." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 1:23 AM PST - 20 comments

August 25

🐶 So long 🐕 and thanks 🐩 for all 🦮 the treats 🐕‍🦺

It's National Dog Day (previously). Dogs are one of the best parts of the animal kingdom. Their young are adorable. They were faithful companions, hunters, guardians, waste collectors, and maybe even healers in ancient Mesopotamia. Their already-impressive communication with humans is being amplified by technology. Humans devote their lives to rescuing them, even during a pandemic (WaPo). They can help people cope during lockdown (WaPo). Their most-common cancer may provide clues to treating human cancer. Did I mention they're adorable? Test yourself to find out Are You A Cat Or Dog Person? [N.B.—these are my own results, so the accuracy of this test is in dispute.] A Dog's Guide To Its Human, an edifying graphic.

And we grieve when they leave us. (from Jenny Jinya)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:05 PM PST - 14 comments

Post AI Go

Impact of Go AI on the professional Go world by Hajin Lee: "At the time, which is not a very long time ago, no one questioned that Go was a path you walk for a lifetime. The life of a Go player was considered similar to a philosopher, a scholar, an artist, or a monk...The term “divine move” is used as a metaphor for an ultimate level of play. With AI, however, we all realized that the best way to reach the highest possible level of Go is not through thinking about it for a lifetime. It’s actually to buy more powerful GPUs and a well-trained deep neural network and have it play Go. So, suddenly, we players felt an enormous sense of loss." A response.
posted by dhruva at 7:59 PM PST - 15 comments

An alcoholic can run out of booze or money. You can't run out of mind

One day, when she was five years old, Daya Bharj told her brother she didn’t want to play with him any more. She wanted to play with her imagination. Daya lay down on the sofa in her family's living room and stared at the ceiling. She imagined a little boy, about her own age, running through a field. He came across an airplane that had crash-landed, then climbed inside and sat in one of the cockpit seats....Thirteen years on, the daydream is still going. [more inside]
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:17 PM PST - 41 comments

Computer vision is the easy part

On Optimal Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:31 PM PST - 27 comments

Rutherford Falls: meet the sitcom creators decolonizing Hollywood

Navajo writer and showrunner Sierra Teller Ornelas has teamed up with her former Brooklyn Nine-Nine colleague Mike Schur and actor Ed Helms to create Rutherford Falls, an NBC Peacock sitcom set in a small town that borders a reserve. Helms plays a "local legend and town namesake" who fights plans to move a statue of the town's founder. The cast will include Toronto-based Plains Cree actor Michael Greyeyes, Lakota Sioux writer and actor Jana Schmieding, and Schitt's Creek alumnus Dustin Milligan. Five of the twelve writers are Native American, making it one of the highest proportions of Indigenous writers on an American sitcom. CBC's Rosanna Deerchild interviews the Indigneous writers decolonizing the Hollywood sitcom. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:14 PM PST - 8 comments

The Grass is no longer greener on the other side of the fence.

Banning Lawns. "Lawns occupy approximately three times more space than corn and twice as much as cotton, and consume up to sixty percent of potable municipal water supplies in Western cities and up to thirty percent in Eastern cities." It's time to give up the great American Institution of the Front Lawn.
posted by storybored at 1:23 PM PST - 101 comments

Why is a mile 5,280 feet? (Why is a nautical mile different??)

Peter S Magnussen has a blog, and he explains in extraordinary, riveting detail. [more inside]
posted by ZakDaddy at 12:11 PM PST - 33 comments

We fucking did it bois, the fort’s ours!

Holdfast is a Napoleonic-era roleplaying shooter game with “enjoyably useless” weapons and a “wonderfully silly but vivid class system” that rewards players for standing in line, listening to nearby musicians, and generally following orders from officers. Thanks to a viral video by an excited Scottish lad, it’s exploded in popularity, although public servers can suffer from “catastrophic toxicity”.
posted by adrianhon at 10:59 AM PST - 17 comments

The problem is that this person cannot speak Scots.

I’ve discovered that almost every single article on the Scots version of Wikipedia is written by the same person - an American teenager who can’t speak Scots (Single link reddit post)
posted by Think_Long at 9:11 AM PST - 161 comments

It’s Time to Abolish Nursing Homes

"If three out of four Americans want to spend their final years at home, why do so many of us end up in institutional care?" A brief history of eldercare and the challenges faced by those seeking to "age in place."
posted by drlith at 5:15 AM PST - 62 comments

The inhumanity of Ofqual's algorithm

The inhumanity of Ofqual's algorithm is a deep dive into the fiasco where British high school students were awarded grades by algorithm with exams cancelled due to COVID, until the government reversed course under pressure. But what happens to universities now?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:12 AM PST - 24 comments

August 24

Republican National Convention Begins

The Republic National Convention kicked off tonight [more inside]
posted by axiom at 11:46 PM PST - 246 comments

Telegram: "Everything", London

The 1912 Harrods catalog has been scanned and proofread to be read online. It took thirteen years. SO much material history of the last peak of globalization before ours, within the age of fossil fuels but well before fossil fuels' dominance, and catering to Imperial structure. [more inside]
posted by clew at 7:58 PM PST - 35 comments

We've played more state fairs than The Beatles

Frankie Banali, drummer of trend setting heavy metal band Quiet Riot, passed away on August 20 after a 16-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 68. [more inside]
posted by COD at 5:59 PM PST - 25 comments

See You at the Club

Author, entrepreneur, chess master, and comedian James Altucher has declared that New York City is dead forever and not coming back. Author, actor, and comedian Jerry Seinfeld disagrees.
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:06 PM PST - 90 comments

Life on the Slow Train: Views of a Vanishing China

First built in the 1950s, the iconic green trains are a relic of another age, differing in almost every way from the sleek high-speed rail cars replacing them. Tickets are dirt-cheap. The carriages are crowded, chaotic, and stifling in the summer heat. It can take hours for the lumbering locomotives to chug between cities. Yet Qian can’t stop riding. Since 2006, he estimates he’s traveled 150,000 kilometers by “green train,” accumulating 490 ticket stubs and 200,000 digital photographs along the way.
posted by Tom-B at 4:27 PM PST - 12 comments

Amish vacationers

Where the Amish go on holiday [BBC video, ~7min]: For nearly a century, families from Amish and Mennonite communities around the US have gathered in the small town of Pinecraft, Florida to mingle and relax. Photographer Dina Litovsky [insta] captured beautiful photographs of the Amish at leisure [New Yorker, April 2018]. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. at 4:05 PM PST - 23 comments

Troubled days are behind me now and I know they're gonna let me in

Justin Townes Earle, an accomplished alt-country singer and songwriter who was a son of the country-rock firebrand Steve Earle, died on Thursday at his home in Nashville. He was 38. His death was confirmed late Sunday by his record label, New West, which did not give a cause. “It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin,” read a post on the younger Mr. Earle’s Facebook page. “So many of you have relied on his music and lyrics over the years, and we hope that his music will continue to guide you on your journeys.” [more inside]
posted by octothorpe at 3:50 PM PST - 26 comments

Cestyll Cymraeg

The Castles of Wales web site , launched in November of 1995, provides visitors with information on over 400 different Welsh castles, accompanied by high quality photographs, as well as a wide range of topics related to Welsh castles and Welsh medieval history, many of the essays written by today's leading experts in their respective fields of study. [more inside]
posted by carter at 3:40 PM PST - 12 comments

Speaking in Tongues

Christine speaking Shetlandic; Vernell speaking Texas German; Aurora and Ademar speaking Mirandese; Sonia speaking Booráá; 王奕 speaking Wu; Arimardan speaking Bhojpuri; Peji speaking Sukuma; Hangi speaking Kihunde; Bonaventure speaking Murrinhpatha; James speaking Zambian Sign Language; Suzana speaking Croatian Sign Language (HZJ). The preceding links are to a small sampling of the many YouTube videos posted by Wikitongues. How Are You Feeling?
posted by misteraitch at 1:35 PM PST - 12 comments

Street Food Pakistan 🤤

🍔 Burgers 🍔 Special Egg Burger 🍔 More Burgers! 🍚 Peshawari Pulao 🍚 Masala Chicken Degi Biryani 🐟 Lahori Masala Fish Fry 🍖 Peshawai Chapli Kabab 🥗 Kalay Chanay 🍞 Anda Paratha 🍞 Sheermal Roti 🍞 Biggest Rumali Roti 🍞 Crispy Bride Paratha 🍰 Cotton Candy 🍰 Jalebi 🍨 Ice Gola Ganda 🍨 Summer Ice Gola Ganda 🍹 Watermelon Drink 🍹 Peach Sherbat 🍹 Limbo Pani 🍹 Falsa Sharbat 🍹 Pakola Milkshake 🍹 Rabri Falooda 🍹 Mango Sherbat
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:26 PM PST - 22 comments

Bro! Tell me we still know how to talk about kings!

Maria Dahvana Headley’s new translation of Beowulf is "brash and belligerent, lunatic and invigorating, with passages of sublime poetry punctuated by obscenities and social-media shorthand,” (Ruth Franklin at The New Yorker). Check out the book’s full introduction and one of Headley’s short stories, The Girlfriend's Guide to the Gods (previously on Mefi).
posted by adrianhon at 10:57 AM PST - 66 comments

Ah, a zookeeper. So, you just babysit the animals all day?

If People Talked to Other Professionals the Way they Talk to Teachers. (sl McSweeney's). "“Do you even read your patients’ charts, or do you just assign them a random dosage based on how nice they’ve been to you?”"
posted by storybored at 10:44 AM PST - 31 comments

Looking for heroes

Journalism’s Gates keepers – freelance journalist Tim Schwab writes in the Columbia Journalism Review about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s contributions to journalism (more than $250 million, to outlets such as NPR, BBC, NBC, Al Jazeera, ProPublica, National Journal, The Guardian, Univision, Medium, the Financial Times, The Atlantic etc.) and the ethical issues it raises, as the most prominent example of a larger trend of "billionaire philanthropists’ bankrolling the news".
posted by bitteschoen at 10:35 AM PST - 8 comments

"a VERY interesting DM conversation"

A story about a cancelled game, a veteran team, and an eccentric creative director (SLTwitter / Threadreader) (via)
posted by May Kasahara at 9:05 AM PST - 23 comments

"Look at What I Did"

Kellyanne Conway will step down from her role as White House counselor (previously, she was Donald Trump's third campaign manager, following Paul Manafort and Corey Lewandowski) at the end of this month to spend more time with her family (she promises 'less drama, more mama'). Her husband, DC lawyer George Conway, will step away from his role in the Lincoln Project (previously). He added that he'll continue to support the project 'passionately.' These announcements came as good news to at least one person--daughter Claudia Conway, 15, who announced yesterday that she was seeking emancipation from her parents. Kellyanne, George, and Claudia all mentioned taking a break from social media.
posted by box at 7:54 AM PST - 67 comments

Mascarpone Monday

Say it properly. Kouign Amann? Lemon sponge and mascarpone cream, or perhaps a meringue cake with chocolate ganache? Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese. Like other cheeses it has non-edible uses, though it is most often used in tiramisu, cheesecake and many other foods. Honey-cinnamon baked peaches with thyme mascarpone. Chocolate mascarpone. Try hanging it? Honey and mascarpone sponge roll or pistachio halva chocolate roulade? Mascarpone stuffed French toast, or a rucola crudo? Brownies? Strawberry and mascarpone rolled sponge. Balls of heavenly cream. Honey blackberry mascarpone ice cream. A cheesling, perhaps? With a milkshake? Lemon sponge and mascarpone and blackcurrant filling, or frost your coffee walnut cake. Boozy. (inspiration)
posted by Wordshore at 1:35 AM PST - 25 comments

August 23

The Enduring, Pernicious Whiteness of True Crime

After all, as Walter Lowe told me, you can’t sell a product for which there is no audience. To have more books, features, and podcasts by and about nonwhite people, there must be a demand for them. (There is.) In order for there to be sufficient, recognized demand, he said, nonwhite victims must be seen as people. That part, maddeningly, is not a given. 4000 heavily linked words from Elon Green for The Appeal.
posted by cgc373 at 11:17 PM PST - 2 comments

The Illustrated Catalog Of ACME Products — ACCEPT NO IMITATIONS

ACME is a worldwide leader of many manufactured goods. From its humble beginnings providing corks and flypaper to bug collectors ("Buddy's Bug Hunt," 1935 [YouTube, rough copy with unofficial commentary] ) to its heyday in the American Southwest supplying a certain coyote (Wikipedia), from Ultimatum Dispatchers to Batman outfits, ACME has set the standard for excellence. For the first time ever, information and pictures of all ACME products, specialty divisions, and services (from 1935 to 1964) are gathered here, in one convenient catalog. Behold, The Illustrated Catalog Of ACME Products. [Via Mltshp]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:24 PM PST - 29 comments

The virtual political convention you've all been waiting for

You probably missed it in June, so here is a replay of 3 hours of political debate to get you familiar with the candidates. Or, if that's too much, here's a written introduction to them, including the first Black woman to run for Tory leadership in Canada. Yes, it's time for Canadian Conservatives to choose a new leader, after the last one didn't work out. All of the votes in the ranked ballot, points-per-riding contest have been cast, and the results will be revealed starting at 5:30pm EDT tonight. CPAC stream, CBC stream, Global News live blog.
posted by clawsoon at 2:17 PM PST - 151 comments

a kinetic effervescence, with a pulse that shimmered and spangled

The Go-Go's became the first all-female band — who played their own instruments and wrote their own songs — to have a No. 1 album in America. Why aren't they in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
- LA Weekly: you're mostly a bunch of New Yorkers, and New Yorkers have always treated L.A. punk like the bastard stepchild of the New York and London scenes.
- Belinda Carlisle: It’s sexist or it’s political.
- Rolling Stone: Is it because they complained about the time they were on the cover?
Their new documentary makes the case that they very much deserve to be there. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 1:13 PM PST - 66 comments

From the verge of collapse to a 1st Christmas

Miss Girard's Christmas Gift. Lost on a Texas highway on a hot June 2019 afternoon, a young man remembers only one name: his special ed teacher of two decades earlier.
posted by invisible ink at 12:50 PM PST - 7 comments

The Intersection is Under Construction

In Solarpunk, “there’s something missing. The intersection with communities of faith is roped off,” argues Rob Cameron in The New Modality. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 10:54 AM PST - 44 comments

Perhaps "living in the now" isn't a real thing

past-ten asks writers and artists like X. H. Collins, Cal Louise Phoenix, S. Evan Stubblefield, Abigail Thomas, Rex Ybañez, Caleb Curtiss, and Jasminum McMullen What were you doing on this day ten years ago?
posted by youarenothere at 10:45 AM PST - 9 comments

Bathtubs: A brief (and limited) history

Search the web, and you're sure to read that America's first bathtub was installed in 1842—December 20, to be exact. It would be nice if such a mercurial vessel had so neat a beginning—even H.L. Mencken, the newspaperman who concocted this hoax as an uplifting wartime news story, would agree. What is true is that no accessory embodies the metamorphosis of bathing equipment (from moveable furniture to plumbed-in-place fixtures) or helps define the use and look of a bathroom in any era as much as the bathtub. (Source link, Old House Journal) [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 10:36 AM PST - 23 comments

Hand signs beyond standard ASL

@thefamilyvocab is an Instagram account showing new hand signs such as creep, Pippi Longstocking, Black Lives Matter, Mermaid, unicorn, Zoom, Star Trek, corona virus.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:52 AM PST - 13 comments

Skyscrapers for plants: maybe farm/forest arcologies should be things

Wheat yield potential in controlled-environment vertical farms - "Here we show that wheat grown on a single hectare of land in a 10-layer indoor vertical facility could produce ... 220 to 600 times the current world average annual wheat yield of 3.2 t/ha." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 5:43 AM PST - 54 comments

August 22

AI Slays Top F-16 Pilot in DARPA Dogfight

And you thought all AI could do was write confusing poetry! More background here.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 3:46 PM PST - 73 comments

Stacey Abrams Fan David Tennant Interviews Dr. Who Fan Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams is a HUGE Doctor Who fan (although she loves Star Trek too). David Tennant, the tenth Doctor, interviews Stacey Abrams on the latest episode of David Tennant Does a Podcast.
posted by kristi at 12:19 PM PST - 29 comments

Fears about Peak Oil are gone. Now we plan for Peak Demand.

Just 12 years ago, OPEC states were flush with cash when oil peaked above $145 a barrel as demand surged. Now it faces a dramatic adjustment if consumption starts a permanent decline. The group will need to manage even more closely its cooperation with other producers, such as Russia, to maximise falling revenues and will have to work to ensure relations inside the group are not frayed by any fratricidal dash to defend market share in a shrinking businesses. End game for oil? OPEC prepares for an age of dwindling demand (Reuters, July 28, 2020) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:14 AM PST - 60 comments

French and Saunders Reunited

The trailer for Death on the Nile is out now, starring Kenneth Branagh, Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders and Letitia Wright. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 10:47 AM PST - 47 comments

New Haven, Same Grievance

Last week, the Justice Department accused Yale violating federal civil rights law by discriminating on the basis of race and national origin against Asian and white applicants in admissions. [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 9:07 AM PST - 20 comments

Your talents are a blessing to the world, no matter who you are

"You are a blessing to the world. Your talents are a blessing to the world, no matter who you are. There is something that you bring, and you need to know that. And that is the best beauty secret of them all." Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Self-Love, Fighting the Power, and Her Signature Red Lip. Full video on Youtube [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 7:54 AM PST - 16 comments

"I haven't really been doing this for any research purposes"

Insects taking off at 3,200 frames per second. [SLYT]
posted by clawsoon at 5:14 AM PST - 29 comments

The Leaf Sheep

Costasiella kuroshimae - the Sea Sheep or Leaf Sheep - is a species of sea slug found around islands in East Asia. They feed on algae, retaining the chloroplasts so they can perform photosynthesis. Non-science: they look really cute. (other sea slugs are available)
posted by Wordshore at 2:39 AM PST - 14 comments


When the United National Congress, one of the two major political parties in Trinidad and Tobago, released a campaign ad touting their seven-point "Covid Preparedness and Response Plan", they probably weren't counting on Trinbagonian memers finding something amusing in their plan for "creating a dome over T&T". [more inside]
posted by J.K. Seazer at 2:08 AM PST - 4 comments

August 21

How are dogs handling the pandemic

The Washington Post collected anecdotes on pets in the age of the coronavirus. There have been anecdotes and threads, but the Washington Post collected tales of how readers' pets were coping with changes caused by the pandemic. [more inside]
posted by Arctan at 6:23 PM PST - 37 comments

Stone Fruit Season

"In the midst of my ennui, wet and haggard and broken, I ate a cold sweet peach. And I wanted to eat another one!" Shing Yin Khor on peaches, for Catapult. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 1:37 PM PST - 32 comments

"Plant as many seeds as you can, and see what you get."

The Domoto Legacy: Plants and Immigration
Among the Japanese American nurseries in the Bay Area that caught my attention was the largest and most influential one, the Domoto Nursery. Whereas other nurseries were largely preoccupied with growing cut flowers like chrysanthemums, roses, and carnations, the Domoto Nursery was one of the few concentrating on ornamental plants for gardens and landscapes. It too was a major conduit through which plants new to American horticulture were introduced and popularized. Kanetaro and Takanoshin Domoto, the two brothers who immigrated from Wakayama, Japan, had started the business in 1885. The Domoto Nursery soon gained the nickname ‘Domoto College’ for the multitude of young men trained and employed there before opening their businesses as well. At its height, the nursery spanned 40 acres; the San Francisco Call in February 1912 noted that the greenhouses covered 230,000 square feet and the shed 300,000 square feet.
By Eric Hsu. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 1:27 PM PST - 7 comments

The COVID-45 Fall

In the United States, the coronavirus has killed more than 170,000 people and caused over 5.5 million confirmed infections, with deaths rising by more than 1,000 a day on average. As schools reopen, Reuters reports on increasing concerns about children and the coronavirus, Ed Yong describes how long-haulers are redefining COVID-19, and The Guardian reports millions of Americans are scraping by. As noted by Democratic VP nominee Kamala Harris in her 2020 DNC speech, "while this virus touches us all, let's be honest, it is not an equal opportunity offender. Black, Latino and Indigenous people are suffering and dying disproportionately. This is not a coincidence. It is the effect of structural racism." Politico reports Trump continues to insist his adminstration has "done a great job" handling the coronavirus, while the U.S. record is among the worst in the world. [more inside]
posted by katra at 11:08 AM PST - 308 comments

Quest of the Avatar

Peter Bebergal on how Ultima IV forced players to grapple with morality in The Computer Game That Led to Enlightenment (The New Yorker) [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 10:40 AM PST - 26 comments

Theories of Everything [Music Video]

Theories of Everything [Music Video] by Sabine Hossenfelder. (YouTube video 1min10sec introduction / explanation and 2min10sec of song). [more inside]
posted by phoque at 10:19 AM PST - 7 comments

"This is the Senegalese power."

All hail Oumou Sy, Senegal’s ‘Queen of Couture’ [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 7:33 AM PST - 5 comments

The co-ordinates are: 53.136107, -0.222877

There, in the middle of fields, stands the gorgeous St Leonard's Church A few days ago I got a message from a priest like "do you wanna come and visit this church?" There was one odd thing about it though, he sent me the church name, and the post code - and that was it. No street name, no village, no... Nothing. Then he sent me co-ordinates. [more inside]
posted by jazon at 6:07 AM PST - 34 comments

August 20

Jerome Ellis transcribes one of his performances

“Treating different things the same way may generate as much inequality as treating the same things in different ways.” [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 9:41 PM PST - 5 comments

The Western Elite from a Chinese Perspective

In Communism, the future is certain; it is only the past that might not be. My parents taught me that good people get rewarded while evil gets punished. My teachers at school taught me that if you work hard, you will succeed, and if you never try, you will surely fail. When I picked up the book, I was studying math at Cambridge University and, as I looked back at the standardized tests and intense study that had defined my life until then, I could see no uncertainty. [more inside]
posted by xdvesper at 7:16 PM PST - 48 comments

What's The Matter With Kansas Democrats?

It seemed like an inspirational story - a young upstart successfully challenging a long serving legislator on a progressive platform. But the dream has quickly turned to a nightmare for Kansas Democrats, as it has come out that state House candidate Aaron Coleman has a history of gendered violence, having bullied one woman into attempting suicide and releasing a nude photo of another when she refused to give him more. (SLNYT) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:44 PM PST - 100 comments

maybe even better than a Mike Bloomberg speech

One of Youtube's treasures is Defunctland (previously, also previously), which expertly plumbs a century's worth of theme park and Disney arcana with well-researched humor and verve. Tonight, Defunctland released its first feature film, a professionally-directed deep dive into a bizarre Disneyland space-rock band so obscure it doesn't even have a Wikipedia page yet: Live From the Space Stage: A HALYX Story.
posted by theodolite at 4:23 PM PST - 18 comments

shiny chocolate

Make your own hologram chocolate
posted by dhruva at 2:16 PM PST - 12 comments

Come on in, the brine is fine!

Hey, remember those brights spots on the Dwarf Planet Ceres that the Dawn spacecraft discovered in 2015? It's probably salt from an evaporated water that reached the surface from an underground ocean.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:55 PM PST - 17 comments

"Dio you really want to do this?"

The Pleasure of Watching Charlize Theron Throw a Punch. "It’s not just that Theron throws her punches with force and precision, or executes her stunts successfully; this is not a matter of a capable action star hitting her marks. Watching Charlize Theron fight has become one of the singular pleasures of contemporary American cinema, as close as we’re going to get to the endorphin rush of watching Gene Kelly dance, or Judy Garland sing, or Charlie Chaplin pantomime."
posted by storybored at 12:55 PM PST - 49 comments

How will you redistribute your wealth?

How will you redistribute your wealth? Fund Justice is a tool for browsing organizations, fundraisers, Black-owned businesses, and bail funds around the US. Many organisations are listed and there's a way to submit new ones via a Google Form. [via mefi projects]
posted by Bella Donna at 11:52 AM PST - 7 comments

Bannon Indicted

Steve Bannon indicted in scheme to defraud donors to campaign pledging to build border wall.
Federal prosecutors in New York announced Thursday that Steve Bannon, President Trump's former White House chief strategist, has been indicted along with three others for allegedly defrauding donors to a $25 million fundraising campaign to build a wall along the southern border.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 11:29 AM PST - 143 comments

Take Back Your Legacy

Misha Green’s new series Lovecraft Country (HBO) follows two Black families as they travel through the Jim Crow North confronting monsters both supernatural and human. In the first episode (free in the US), a road trip montage strikingly echoes Gordon Park’s iconic Segregation Story photo series, and includes a voiceover from James Baldwin’s 1965 debate against William F. Buckley Jr. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 10:33 AM PST - 31 comments

More fun

After a long day of playing in the forest while their juvenile counterparts were at Orangutan Jungle School, an active congress of orphaned baby orangutans at the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation in Indonesia adorably piled themselves into wheelbarrows in order to catch a ride back to the nursery where they’d be safe and well-fed
posted by growabrain at 6:35 AM PST - 16 comments

212-Story Building in Melbourne

In Microsoft Flight Simulator a bizarrely eldritch, impossibly narrow skyscraper pierces the skies of Melbourne's North like a suburban Australian version of Half-Life 2's Citadel... Apparently this building can be traced back to a typo in OpenStreetMap. [more inside]
posted by ba at 6:24 AM PST - 47 comments

decline and fall, 2020

“Western melancholy” can be understood as the ultimate consequence of our community’s acceptance of the incapacity to stop devastation of the environment and climate change by transforming the social and economic models responsible for those problems. Full text
posted by infini at 5:20 AM PST - 6 comments

"Surprisingly, all excreted beetles were alive and active."

93% of the Time, This Beetle Survives Being Eaten and Pooped out by a Frog [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 4:09 AM PST - 28 comments

August 19

ALIENS THE RIDE【Planet Coaster】 (SLYT, 15:09)

Stuck inside? Missing amusement parks because of Reasons? Youtube user Hin Nya has spent countless hours in an unmodded version of Planet Coaster making a first-person POV roller coaster ride unlike anything you've ever seen. Everything in the video was put together by hand using pre-existing game assets, including the titular aliens. Strap in, we're going to space. (Warning: flashing lights) [more inside]
posted by lesser weasel at 11:50 PM PST - 14 comments

Frequency 101, Wherein Nancy and Jeff Hear Things They Perhaps Shouldn't

After heavy delays caused by the end of the world - you know, the apocalypse? - Channel 101 (whose main five-minute-TV-episode-contest is also returning via Twitch at 8PM and 10PM August 29th, see below the fold) has released the first episode of its new podcast version, Frequency 101, in which two young trespassers discover strange five-minute-or-less broadcasts created by YOU, the listeners. Vote for your five favorite mini-shows here; only the top five mini-shows will return in the next episode with new installments. Instructions for submitting your own pilots are below the fold. [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 9:49 PM PST - 1 comment

Horrible Mouth Parts

my pet crab eating noodle
my pet crab eating Banana
pet crab eating onion ring
pet crab eating chips
posted by Going To Maine at 7:34 PM PST - 37 comments

The holy founding text of The Church of the Next Word

Again, what follows are not my words, this is what GPT-3 said, prompted by Lantz. Or rather: this is the collective unconscious of humanity, put into words by the algorithm. 1000 words from Matt Webb. [more inside]
posted by cgc373 at 4:20 PM PST - 34 comments

Oakland’s original boogaloos speak out

Pioneers of a funky Bay Area dance style are fighting to preserve their history, after an extremist alt-right movement appropriates their name.
In early June, the killing of a Santa Cruz police officer made national headlines. The murder was later linked to the drive-by fatal shooting of a security guard at Oakland’s federal courthouse building, during what began as a peaceful protest for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Black Lives Matter. Both incidents were linked to the upstart “boogaloo bois,” a loose national community often described as an extremist alt-right movement.… Dozens of articles describing the movement appeared all over mainstream media outlets, from CNN to NPR to the BBC. But none of those reports mentioned that for more than 50 years, the term “boogaloo” has been associated with an African-American-derived dance culture that began in the Bay Area.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 3:42 PM PST - 11 comments

Denmark's Ghetto Package

Facing Eviction, Residents Of Denmark's 'Ghettos' Are Suing The Government Earlier this summer, after it became clear that his housing project, called Mjølnerparken, would be targeted as part of a sweeping plan to rid the country of immigrant-heavy areas by 2030, Mehmood and 11 of his neighbors filed a lawsuit against the Danish government, with support from the Open Society Justice Initiative. The lawsuit, which alleges discrimination and seeks to invalidate a section of the government's so-called "ghetto package," comes as the country begins to grapple with broader questions about racism in light of global focus on the issue. [more inside]
posted by dmh at 12:03 PM PST - 28 comments

I'm Not Really Capable of Making Typos

The proud pedant behind @nyttypos is, as his Twitter bio proclaims, an “appellate lawyer and persnickety dude.” While working for a government office on appeals for the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court, he has diligently, competently, and caustically grammar-policed the paper of record in his spare time, producing more than 20,000 tweets over the past 11 months. His account is a cross between an ego trip, a crusade, and a compulsion. His quixotic quest to flag the words that weren’t fit to print has attracted roughly 8,000 followers, yielded countless corrections, and made its anonymous owner the object of some fascination within the walls and Slack chats of the Times, while exposing the trade-offs in copy quality that competitive publishing in the age of algorithms demands. One Twitter Account’s Quest to Proofread The New York Times [The Ringer]
posted by chavenet at 11:51 AM PST - 42 comments

Has Peter Max seen these?

Glorious psychedelic fish illustrations, many of actual fish. Some not as such. Bonus: many available as a print or, in these craptastic times, as a face mask.
posted by winesong at 10:30 AM PST - 8 comments

Dead Man’s Clones

Jomppe Vaarakallio used Gigapixel AI to upscale a photo, whereupon the software added Ryan Gosling’s face to the image.
posted by adrianhon at 10:28 AM PST - 11 comments

Expect Less of Yourself

Science journalist Tara Haelle writing on Medium about coping with the uncertainty of the pandemic: Surge capacity is a collection of adaptive systems — mental and physical — that humans draw on for short-term survival in acutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters. But natural disasters occur over a short period, even if recovery is long. Pandemics are different — the disaster itself stretches out indefinitely. “The pandemic has demonstrated both what we can do with surge capacity and the limits of surge capacity,” says Masten. When it’s depleted, it has to be renewed. But what happens when you struggle to renew it because the emergency phase has now become chronic? [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 8:40 AM PST - 41 comments

The Green Nectar of the Gods

Purée de Pois are a traditional and upmarket delicacy (Yorkshire Caviar) within the UK. Much loved by MeFites, they often accompany Poisson et Frites, or occasionally battered toblerone. Marrowfat peas, mature and field-dried, are soaked in baking soda, boiled (till they explode) then simmered (or make your own variation)(though mashed are not genuine). These are too liquid. A visitor, and another, try some. In Nottingham, the delicacy is carefully cooked over a coal or coke fire and served with mint. TV ad and a review. Enjoy as booty (sandwich). Or, eat with moist butt, goujons, waffles, steak and ale pie, as a pizza topping, a fish butty, with curried scraps, on toast as the breakfast of champs, in fishcakes, or as an artisanal ice cream.
posted by Wordshore at 4:42 AM PST - 59 comments

First Polish website dedicated to watches of the XXth century

This "the first ever Polish website dedicated to space design and breakthrough (alternative) technology watches of the XXth century. The content is focused on presenting detailed information about collectible timepieces of the 1950-1970's including technical aspects, servicing hints and an additional average price reference. Many servicing descriptions are shown for the first time on the internet to preserve lost knowledge about old forgotten watches." (Photos are links) [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 4:13 AM PST - 7 comments

like a free version of Obra Dinn but for fake 80s music

Family by Tim Sheinman (Owl_Skip on is a playable in-browser game where your job is to deduce the identities of musicians in a fabricated 80s London music scene using bits of music, interviews, biographies etc. (post title from RPS writeup)
posted by juv3nal at 2:19 AM PST - 6 comments

August 18

US Politics Filter: DNC Edition

The Democratic National Convention has begun and all eyes are on the Vice-Presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, the first black woman and south asian to be in that role.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:54 PM PST - 669 comments

To Oblivion And Back

In 1929, the last sea otter in British Columbia was shot dead. In 1970, Canadian biologists transported otters from Alaskan waters and relocated them to Checleset Bay, near the remote northwest tip of Vancouver Island. What started as an experiment has become a significant conservation success story.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:24 PM PST - 8 comments

Well, Seymour, I made it, despite your directions.

Yet another oral history, this time from MEL magazine: “An Oral History of ‘Steamed Hams,’ the Funniest ‘Simpsons’ Scene Ever Recorded”
(Previously, previouslier, previouslierer)
posted by Going To Maine at 6:32 PM PST - 17 comments

Need a safety sign?

Need an ANSI Z535-compliant safety sign? Sure you do. Here's a convenient sign generator in case you need to let people know that something is dangerous.
posted by GuyZero at 2:51 PM PST - 133 comments

Untitled Goose Game is getting a two-player mode on September 23

I repeat: Untitled Goose Game is getting a two-player mode on September 23. Also it's coming to Steam and
posted by Cash4Lead at 2:19 PM PST - 23 comments

Socially distanced haunted house

For all of you missing Halloween's spooky festivities, Kowagarasetai has you covered with a drive-in haunted house, where zombies will (safely!) attack your car for a set time period. [more inside]
posted by bile and syntax at 1:45 PM PST - 9 comments

All About Atlatl

Learn about the Atlatl (pronounced aht-laht (kinda)), a 30k-year-old handle used to throw a giant arrow. Listen to Angelo Robledo discuss Experimental Archeology on Ologies. Then watch Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's new movie "The Silencing." Excited? Make your own, and bring it to an Atlatl event. You can even recreate the ancient game/ceremony of Moche Toss (3 pages).
posted by rebent at 1:41 PM PST - 27 comments

A history of rock music in 500 songs

A history of rock music in 500 songs Andrew Hickey makes an impeccably, exhaustively researched podcast covering the history and pre-history of rock music song-by-song in chronological order. So far he's up to 1961; this week's episode covers Ben E. King's "Stand By Me." Previously, previously
posted by feathermeat at 1:20 PM PST - 8 comments

James Bond's secret playlist

“I have a special assignment for you. Your boss doesn’t know about it. You’ll help two engineers from the US Department of Energy build a special iPod. Report only to me.”
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:12 PM PST - 14 comments

"when I looked at my soybeans, something clicked"

Pandemic Cooking Isn’t About Hope. It’s About Practical Magic
Some days I have the privilege of fresh produce, other days I have the privilege of time, and other days I have neither. If it means that my ingredient base has become less local, and that I’m relying on more canned or frozen items from far away—even as I’m also making more things from scratch—I’m okay with that. The circumstances demand flexibility. It turns out that growing up in a household of displaced people has made me surprisingly comfortable with cooking this way.
By Zoe Yang.
posted by Lexica at 11:54 AM PST - 13 comments

We’ll need you to continue investing in us, every year.

If Founders Treated Their Investors The Same Way They Treated Their Employees
posted by w0mbat at 10:57 AM PST - 20 comments

British & Exotic Mineralogy

All of James Sowerby’s illustrations from his compendium of knowledge about mineralogy arranged by color [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 10:44 AM PST - 4 comments

The Wubi Effect

How do you fit 70,000 Chinese characters on a keyboard? Radiolab delves into the history of writing Chinese characters on computer, from Wang Yongmin’s pioneering Wubi method that breaks down Chinese characters into components mapping onto standard Latin keyboards, to the cloud-based predictive typing system used across China on PCs and smartphones today.
posted by adrianhon at 10:01 AM PST - 15 comments

Business in the front, false cultural memory in the back

The Decoder Ring podcast digs in to the history and mystery of the origin of the mullet. An linguistic detective story. [more inside]
posted by gkhan at 1:32 AM PST - 27 comments

“Turn it upside down after baking so the lard can soak through.”

(caution for pig fat) Lard, glorious lard! Twelve or sixteen pieces or round or a crown or after proving! Lardy bread (or lardy cake or lardey cake or lardy Johns), otherwise knows as dough cake or fourses cake and with close relatives such as the Cheltenham dripper and Yorkshire fatty cake, is one of the traditional breads and cakes of English counties and seaside towns. The original or first is debatable and lost in the ancient counties. Made with lard or lardo, flour and various fruits, sometimes sticky and with your mum or while being filmed, this is perhaps not the healthiest meal. Obviously best served with a nice cup of tea. Palate cleanser.
posted by Wordshore at 12:35 AM PST - 36 comments

August 17

Little Acorns

Little Acorns is Nancy Hiller's series of woodworker profiles. [more inside]
posted by zamboni at 2:30 PM PST - 9 comments

A new approach to Covid-19 testing: Rapid Tests

How to test every American for Covid-19 everyday What's a rapid test? Existing technology using paper strips allows for contagious-COVID testing that is rapid and inexpensive. Research shows that if done properly, these testing protocols could drive down infections close to zero. Millions of these tests can easily be manufactured and distributed. At as low as $1 per test, you can take a test every day. Tests could be administered at the entrance to schools and offices, and some could be taken at home. [more inside]
posted by bluesky43 at 1:55 PM PST - 92 comments

Homemade Peanut Sauce That Was All Wrong But My Wife's Reluctant To Toss

The refrigerator is the only thing we’re forced to share that we have drastically different views on how to use. And I’m not sure how you turn a person who insists on pickling her own carrots into a person who doesn’t also feel entitled to stack jars of them eight deep on the highest shelf, but that is the person I ended up married to! Has anyone ever gotten divorced citing “too many assorted milks?” Is this the “for worse” I am resigned to? from To Love, Honor, and Share Fridge Space by Samantha Irby
posted by chavenet at 9:33 AM PST - 116 comments

Sorry about the window. If you don’t like my solution, build your own.

Ethan Zuckerman leaves a note to future occupant of his office in the MIT Media Lab. The window has some...unique features. And attempts to remove them.
posted by MrGuilt at 9:28 AM PST - 41 comments

Plaga interworld signaling mechanism

What if you could talk to your alternate reality selves? Ted Chiang’s novella, Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom (OneZero/Medium) explores ideas of choice, responsibility, and fate with consummate style and total precision. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 9:18 AM PST - 15 comments

It is urgent to prescribe hydroxychloroquine for push-scooters users

SARS-CoV-2 was Unexpectedly Deadlier than Push-scooters: Could Hydroxychloroquine be the Unique Solution? , a paper published, and then retracted for "serious scientific fraud", in the Asian Journal of Medicine and Health, a suspected predatory journal. Context: Hydroxychloroquine, push-scooters, and COVID-19: A journal gets stung, and swiftly retracts. [more inside]
posted by elgilito at 3:28 AM PST - 11 comments

The antithesis to Jane Eyre's Mrs. Reed

Homeschooling with Aunt Lil in the Summer of '68. A boy becomes an orphan. 6 years later, he’s failing all subjects and doodling women’s fashions. His childless, widowed aunt responds to this not with anger and judgment, but love and acceptance.
posted by invisible ink at 1:39 AM PST - 12 comments

August 16


posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:09 PM PST - 14 comments

Alex Trebek makes Regis a sandwich.

Alex Trebek, longtime host of Jeopardy, makes Regis Philbin a sandwich. They also talk about their careers. Alex Trebek, longtime host of Jeopardy, makes Regis Philbin a sandwich while wearing a sweater and jeans. They also talk about their careers. There is a complaint about insufficient pickles.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:44 PM PST - 7 comments

How is an AI like a duck?

Since I can't find the interview I heard about AIs analyzing the structure of stories across all cultures and languages and finding remarkable similarities between all of them, I present to you these stories: "The association between man and narrative dimension has deep roots. Since the dawn of myth, humans have used stories to give meaning to the world. Without them, our experience of the universe would be almost incomprehensible. Also, the telling of stories has always been the exclusive domain of man. No other living creature has ever shown this inclination, linked to typically human prerogatives, such as symbolic thinking, language, creativity. From now on, however, with a break of historical importance still difficult to understand, telling stories may no longer be a purely human undertaking. Although in the current phase algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) tend to intervene mainly with help functions, they too can be considered – increasingly – not only mechanisms of reproduction, but real creators of new stories and tales." "We Asked Today’s Most Advanced Storytelling AI to Co-Write a Story About Itself.." "Know Your Audience, and Let Data Help Drive Your Storytelling." "Why plot-driven data storytelling is important and how to create it." "AI Storytelling Companies Usher in New Era of Creativity."
posted by Evilspork at 1:07 PM PST - 31 comments

I have the right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about

A new Ted Koppel report today @CBS about the presidential emergency action documents (PEADs), classified orders granting vast presidential authority in response to extraordinary situations. PEADs are so secret even Congress cannot see them – and that troubles constitutional scholars.
posted by growabrain at 12:55 PM PST - 26 comments

Yusef/Cat Stevens reimagines Tea For The Tillerman for 50th Anniversary

Yusuf/Cat Stevens Re-Records ‘Tea for the Tillerman’ for 50th Anniversary “We knew we were coming up to the 50th birthday of the friendly face, Tillerman,” says Yusuf, “and we wanted to do something special for him” Preview track: Where Do The Children Play
posted by hippybear at 11:36 AM PST - 27 comments

Stretch Armwrong

Gumshoes Griffin McElroy and Deputy Russ Frushtick play L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files (Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3). Come for the comedy, stay for the VR mirror dancing.
posted by adrianhon at 9:09 AM PST - 9 comments

Make it very simple, let the music speak for itself.

Classical guitarist and lute player Julian Bream has died at the age of 87. Obituaries Guardian and NYT
The conventional wisdom about the classical guitar is that the Spanish virtuoso Andrés Segovia single handedly carved out a place for it as a concert instrument worthy of the classical repertory. But I would argue, in fact, that as important as Segovia's groundwork was, the strides taken on the guitar's behalf by Julian Bream were as great, and in some ways more significant, than Segovia's.
Some quotes.
posted by adamvasco at 8:54 AM PST - 17 comments

"The camera is a great teacher..."

The Oakland Museum of California has made its digital archive of Dorothea Lange's photography available to all. "The camera is a great teacher, and the more people use it the more aware they become of the possibilities of the visual world." — Dorothea Lange
posted by agatha_magatha at 8:47 AM PST - 5 comments


American problems require American solutions!
posted by Tom-B at 8:13 AM PST - 26 comments

How to Choose the Pet Bug That’s Right for You

"“If you had a permit, I would recommend getting your own little LeRoy"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:54 AM PST - 19 comments

A listicle of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy

40 Hamlets, Ranked. [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 3:47 AM PST - 44 comments

The Clangers

The Clangers, knitted into being by Joan Firmin, live on a small moon-like planet, enjoy music, eat green soup provided by a dragon, as well as glow-honey and blue string pudding, speak in a whistled language, were occasionally political (podcast), and appeared in Doctor Who in 1972. Adventures included shooting down an iron chicken, fishing for gold, an egg, marching hoots, and narrowly avoiding visiting...? First revealed on the BBC in 1969 and voiced by Oliver Postgate, rebooted shows from 2015 onwards have been narrated by Michael Palin and William Shatner. Best watched while young or knitting (pattern) or happy.
posted by Wordshore at 12:26 AM PST - 14 comments

August 15

Hit The Ground Running

Hank Green channels the spirit of Shia LaBeouf.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:47 PM PST - 11 comments

The Asset Economy

What we are seeing in the present era is the growing importance of intergenerational transfer and inheritance for the determination of life chances. Crucially, however, this is not best understood as a return to an earlier era, when property was passed on (generally among men) from one generation to another in a more or less stable and mostly uneventful way. Inheritance is no longer a simple transmission of property titles, but increasingly a strategically timed transfer of funds that need to be leveraged and put to work in the speculative logic of the asset economy.
posted by latkes at 9:37 PM PST - 73 comments

Do NOT watch these if you have photosensitive epilepsy.

The Flicker is a legendary 1966 experimental film by Tony Conrad that uses alternating black and white frames to produce digital stroboscopic effects. (The Flicker at

Noisefields is a 1974 experimental video by Steina and Woody Vasulka that visualizes the deflected energy of an analog video signal. (Noisefields at

Do not watch these if you have photosensitive epilepsy.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:14 PM PST - 12 comments

neuroatypicality in the workplace

"should I tell future managers about my ADHD?" Advice from Ask A Manager, and many comments from people with ADHD about how to handle it in job searches and in the workplace. A followup to "how to succeed at work when you’re not neurotypical... an open thread for readers who aren’t neurotypical about what’s been useful for you". Relatedly: "mental health/neurodivergent symptoms as strengths, a [Twitter] thread.... 'Doesn't pick up on social cues' -> Immune to attempts to distract with indirect digs or insulting tone. Unflappable; focused."
posted by brainwane at 6:28 PM PST - 21 comments

Come for the setar, stay for the kamencheh

Kayhan Kalhor, playing a solo setar performance in Tehran's Abgineh museum (runs 55:34). Kalhor is also a master kamencheh player, an instrument he discusses here. More about the setar, previously. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:42 PM PST - 7 comments

Five Flops in Five Days

Last week, Vulture published five in-depth articles about legendary Broadway bombs.
"Within Fifteen Minutes, It Became Unbearable" (Jim Steinman vampire gothic comedy musical: too much? Yes)
A Musical About Joseph McCarthy Financed By a Scam Artist Ex-Con. What Could Go Wrong? (an accidentally overproduced workshop piece with "a musical number in which legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow takes you on a virtual tour of Joe McCarthy’s alcohol-ravaged liver")
A Dud Among Duds (the "titanically bad" Moose Murders)
Donald Trump’s One-Show Career As a Broadway Producer ("When I told him I had to close it, he said, ‘David, what should I do now?’ ... I said, ‘Why don’t you try real estate?’”)
When Superman Briefly Flew on Broadway (with a cameo from Justin McElroy) [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 12:07 PM PST - 41 comments

New Jersey: Images of the Garden State

From the Skylands, to the Palisades, to the farms and cranberry bogs, and down the Jersey Shore to Cape May, here are a few glimpses of the landscape of New Jersey Some cool nuggets of information here: did you know the water around the Statue of Liberty is owned by New Jersey whereas the actual island of the statue is part of New York?
posted by folklore724 at 11:36 AM PST - 35 comments

Book Wormhole

Idiom is “vortex of books” installation at the Prague Municipal Library by Slovakia-born artist Matej Kren
posted by growabrain at 11:36 AM PST - 5 comments

USA TODAY Women of the Century marks 100 years since the 19th Amendment

State By State: USA TODAY Network’s Women of the Century marks 100 years since the 19th Amendment "We set the parameters. Since we are commemorating the 100th anniversary of women being granted the right to vote in the United States, we would limit the women to those who lived between 1920 and today. ... To spotlight as many women as possible, we aimed to have every list be unique. For instance, if a woman hailed from one state but made her mark in another, we would have to decide which state could claim her."
posted by hippybear at 8:50 AM PST - 3 comments

A fraudulent election spurs nationwide protest, strikes in Belarus

The 2020 Belarusian presidential election is widely viewed as fraudulent due to accusations of falsifications of ballot results. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 8:41 AM PST - 12 comments

The Agencies Crumble and Surrender

MK Lees describes how the Writers Guild of America West brought Hollywood talent agencies to heel and ended the practice of packaging fees that was eating into their compensation.
posted by adrianhon at 8:39 AM PST - 8 comments

Streetview of 1940s NYC

Streetview of New York ca 1940: Between 1939 and 1941, the Works Progress Administration collaborated with the New York City Tax Department to collect photographs of every building in the five boroughs of New York City. In 2018, the NYC Municipal Archives completed the digitization and tagging of these photos, and Julian Boilen created a website to place them on a map -- every dot is a photo. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. at 3:43 AM PST - 34 comments

August 14

Harpist covers classic rock and pop

There are lots of "musician covers song on weird instrument" mefi posts but this one is mine Allow me to interrupt as the internet celebrates the "Man who shot himself in the Balls" with some love for Maël Isaac. A French experimental musician with a penchant for covering classic rock and pop on a harp... and killer vocal accompaniment. [more inside]
posted by bolix at 8:37 PM PST - 9 comments

Resurrecting the art of China's dragon scale bookbinding

At his studio in Beijing, artist Zhang Xiaodong layers hundreds of sheets of thin paper on top of one another until they form a complete and impeccable image. When the chapters of his elaborate books are unfolded, the pages move like the bellows of an accordion. This ancient Chinese art, known as dragon scale bookbinding [CNN], stretches back more than 1,000 years to the Tang dynasty. Passed down between generations of royals and literate upper class families, the finished works were thought to resemble dragons, each page appearing like a "scale." Video | More examples
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:10 PM PST - 9 comments

we're gonna fight gods and we're gonna win

The Seattle Garages are an anarcho-syndicalist collective, blunge band, and (perhaps least notably) Blaseball team. And while Blaseball (your new favorite simulated sports league) is on extended siesta, the Garages have been producing new music at an incinerating rate. Today they dropped their second album of the month, "the garages kill the gods" with banging lead track 'fight gods.' The album explores the themes initially developed in the zine 'blaseball GODS = blaseball FRAUDS.' This follows closely on the heels of their debut album, 'we are the garages,' best known for 'Mike Townsend is a Disappointment,' perhaps the most Seattle Splorts song ever written. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 5:43 PM PST - 15 comments

Maybe not snow, rain, heat or gloom of night, but what about Trump?

There are some serious shenanigans going on at the postal service. Most recently, it's been reported that a large number of high-speed sorting machines are being taken out of service. This comes directly on the heels of an advisory that mail-in ballots may be delayed. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 4:42 PM PST - 174 comments

Fast and Furious and Funny and Cheap

Two guys, a trip to whatever is Toys R Us these days, a case of product placement drink, and $100 brings you a recreation of the first Fast and Furious epics. The soundtrack features audio watermarks, of course. This is a remarkably funny and creative movie, enjoyed by this dude who's never seen a Fast and Furious movie. (Now maybe I won't have to!) Brought to you by The Budget Boyz, Kent Yoshimura and Kevin Fairy. The trailer. The 20 minute film. Varooooooommmmm!!!! (Found on AVClub)
posted by njohnson23 at 4:16 PM PST - 7 comments

For the children

Ice cream trucks will be playing a new tune this summer, composed by RZA of Wu Tang Clan. Good Humor Ice Cream's web page is blessedly straightforward about the rationale: The previous jingle, used for decades, was a traditional tune probably best known these days as "Turkey in the Straw" but has an incredibly problematic past, and Good Humor's press release is unusually frank about the song's racist heritage as being the reason for the change. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 11:38 AM PST - 148 comments

Give me steam And how you feel can make it real...

The Curious History of Steam Heat and Pandemics "The Spanish Influenza, which caused just over 20,000 deaths in New York City alone, “changed heating once and for all.” That’s according to Dan Holohan, a retired writer, consultant, and researcher with extensive knowledge of heating systems and steam heating. (Among his many tomes on the topic: The Lost Art of Steam Heating, from 1992.) Most radiator systems appeared in major American cities like New York City in the first third of the 20th century. This golden age of steam heat didn’t merely coincide with that pandemic: Beliefs about how to fight airborne illness influenced the design of heating systems, and created a persistent pain point for those who’ve cohabitated with a cranky old radiator."
posted by storybored at 9:01 AM PST - 61 comments

Vegan porn (SFW)

Hydrovegan is an Instagram feed of fruits.
Fruitarian's another
posted by growabrain at 8:32 AM PST - 4 comments

A Constant Willful Reductionism

isosteph writes about tech brain as “an addiction to easy answers combined with a wholesale cultural resistance to any kind of complexity.”
posted by adrianhon at 6:18 AM PST - 76 comments

" ... we forced them to sit down and rethink harassment."

The fiftieth anniversary of a peaceful protest in Notting Hill that ended in a violent clash, arrests, a trial and exoneration.Trinidadian community activist Frank Crichlow opened The Mangrove restaurant in Notting Hill at the end of the 1960s. It became a focus for the local Black community, and drew visitors from further afield as well. In August 1970, a series of unwarranted police raids prompted a decision by the local community to hold a peaceful protest against the ongoing harassment. On the 9th August 1970, the demonstration began. It had far-reaching consequences.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 1:00 AM PST - 3 comments

August 13

The Mountain Dream Tarot

Bea Nettles has dedicated her life to photography, and she executed what is believed to be the world’s first-ever photographic tarot deck in the early 1970s. She was enrolled as a printmaking student at the Penland Art School in Bakersville, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, when in 1970 she had a dream in which she came up with the idea of producing her own tarot deck using the art of photography. [Dangerous Minds]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:10 PM PST - 24 comments

In Other Worlds

Wilfred Buck grew up in the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, in northern Manitoba. “An Elder told me that every star you can see with the naked eye had a story, had a constellation, had a name and a teaching attached to it,” he says. “Due to the historical trauma that happened to our people, anywhere from 75 to 85 percent of that knowledge base was wiped out.” Margaret Nazon grew up near Tsiigehtchic, a Gwich’in settlement in the Northwest Territories. In the community, she would watch her older sister and her friends’ mothers stitch beads into floral designs on velvet, stroud, and moose hide after their chores were finished for the day. But it wasn’t until Nazon was in her sixties that her love for astronomy appeared in her beadwork. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 2:54 PM PST - 9 comments


Today was a big day for cyberpunk corpo-warfare! First, Epic Games (creators of Fortnite) pushed an update with a new option for buying the in-game currency: $9.99 through the App Store, or $7.99 through Epic, bypassing Apple's in-app payment system and 30% cut. Apple responded by kicking Fortnite out of the App Store. Epic immediately responded with a 65-page lawsuit complaint and a parody of Apple's famous 1984 Macintosh ad. [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 1:26 PM PST - 116 comments

Ow My Balls

There's been a rather questionable trend among certain online gun enthusiast communities of members pointing loaded guns at their genitals, in a form of mocking those who push for sensible gun handling. But finally, the inevitable happens - and the response then got weird. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:10 PM PST - 148 comments

"In the Legendary Republic of Utopia..."

Satirical films that end up predicting a future that they once joked about are becoming more common these days. But such satire doesn't begin with Idiocracy or Network. Let's go back nearly 100 years ago to an Austrian film whose title pretty much says it all: The City Without Jews [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:58 AM PST - 17 comments

Sophia Robot, first robotic citizen

Could Sophia, or somebot like her, be raised within, or convert into, and practice a faith?
posted by BekahVee at 8:37 AM PST - 38 comments

A Level in Competence

As students across England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive their adjusted exam results, private schools see a rise in A* and A grades, while 40% of teacher assessments in England have been downgraded. [more inside]
posted by lucidium at 5:49 AM PST - 105 comments

The first science fiction story

A True Story (Ἀληθῆ διηγήματα, Verae Historiae) is a novel written in the second century AD by Lucian of Samosata, a Greek-speaking author of Assyrian descent. The novel is a satire of outlandish tales which had been reported in ancient sources, particularly those which presented fantastic or mythical events as if they were true. It is Lucian's best-known work.
It is the earliest known work of fiction to include travel to outer space, alien lifeforms, and interplanetary warfare. As such, A True Story has been described as "the first known text that could be called science fiction".
posted by growabrain at 4:43 AM PST - 7 comments

Star Trek INtakes

Bloopers, when edited back into the finished episodes, can add a bit of humanity to characters, like Geordi and Worf Celebrate Their Rescue. Sometimes they just add a bit of absurdity, like Something’s Wrong With Worf. Both are good. All are made by Ryan’s Edits. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 4:13 AM PST - 27 comments

August 12

Populism, Trump, and the Future of Democracy

Four Actionable Points outlined by Michael Sandel who teaches political philosophy at Harvard University.
posted by CheapB at 11:21 PM PST - 25 comments

Modern day tales of the ring of Gyges

"Meanwhile, as both an effects film and an indictment of toxic masculinity, Hollow Man has only improved." [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 5:19 PM PST - 16 comments

Rediscovering Black Portraiture

British operatic baritone Peter Brathwaite has created (so far) 76 tributes to historical depictions of Black people , inspired by the #gettychallenge. The original portraits span the centuries from a man holding onto the letter I in a 1241 copy of the Domesday Book to Kehinde Wiley's verdant portrait of President Obama. [more inside]
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:16 PM PST - 11 comments

the red drapes honestly feel a little more Lynch tho

A shot-for-shot remake of the final sequence of Kubrick's opus magnum, within the confines of a Brooklyn apartment, starring and directed and etc by artist Lydia Cambron: 2020: An Isolation Odyssey
posted by cortex at 3:10 PM PST - 11 comments

Traveling Cats

For over fifteen years, I've been snapping pictures of every cat I meet during my travels around the world. In December 2013, I realized I had more travel pictures of cats than 'normal' ones, and I figured it could be neat to put them all on a blog. Two weeks later, Traveling Cats was born.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:24 PM PST - 10 comments


More than 600,000 people remain without power across Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana after a Derecho brought hurricane force winds to a large swath of the midwest. Wind speeds reaching 112 MPH were measured near Cedar Rapids, IA. [more inside]
posted by Quack at 11:40 AM PST - 66 comments

The little sculpture affixed to your house

Hungarian-American metal artisan Anton Fazekas (1878-1966) designed and patented illuminated house-number signs with ornate metal housings that were the rage in San Francisco in the first half of the 20th century, and were promoted by a campaign by the San Francisco Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
posted by larrybob at 8:50 AM PST - 18 comments

Get Organized

Elle Summers publishes a cracking good commentary [youtube]"what an appropriate time to analyse the power of collective action" in the film "Chicken Run".
posted by mightshould at 8:03 AM PST - 10 comments

This post looks really clean.

How to Fake an Interest in Woodworking
posted by curious nu at 8:01 AM PST - 17 comments

This Pandemic is a Bad Mother

"The mothers I know who are more anxious than ever, or those who are now experiencing anxiety for the first time, are afraid to tell their friends for fear they will be seen as lesser, weaker mothers. In addition to roasting and sous viding and baby-wearing and account-managing and storyboarding, mothers are also supposed to maintain morale. Talking to some people about freaking out is infinitely worse than freaking out." An essay on anxiety, self-definition, judgment, motherhood, and parenting during a pandemic from Lisa Taddeo (Guardian).
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:09 AM PST - 7 comments

Could I feel what they were doing? Yes.

Rob Delaney on the pain and pleasure of his vasectomy. Also: Previously (and very sadly).
posted by memebake at 3:55 AM PST - 60 comments


Bennett Foddy picks the most under-appreciated games of the 2010s: Playpen (2010), Justin Smith’s Realistic Summer Sports Simulator (2011), McPixel (2012), Hiversaires (2013), Helix (2014), Else heart.break() (2015), Soft Body (2016), Tormentor X Punisher (2017), Infernium (2018), and 10 Beautiful Postcards (2019). [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 3:40 AM PST - 6 comments

August 11

A Little Ado about Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare in the Park: Much Ado About Nothing... is streaming live for free until early September courtesy of PBS. The play was performed live in Central Park last year. You can tell it's something special when it begins with the actors mashing together Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" with the "Star Spangled Banner". The play features "Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black,” Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) and Grantham Coleman (“Buzzer,” “The Americans”) as the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick. Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (“American Son,” “A Raisin in the Sun”) directs with choreography by Tony Award nominee Camille A. Brown (“Choir Boy”)."
posted by storybored at 9:57 PM PST - 23 comments

Bread Making

A sixteen-minute video of Japanese bakers making different varieties of Shokupan
posted by Going To Maine at 9:54 PM PST - 13 comments

Oz…Ozzie's in a pickle!!!

25 years ago today, Chrono Trigger was released for the SNES in North America. An almost permanent fixture in the top of any Best SNES Games list, Chrono Trigger featured character designs of manga artist Akira Toriyama, an incredible (and interesting) score by Yasunori Mitsuda, and a sprawling adventure covering the dawn of civilization to the end of it and many points in between. [more inside]
posted by Zargon X at 5:01 PM PST - 22 comments

There's Some Whores in This House

"I’m an active participant. I’m not just a vessel. The reason you’re having such a good time, sir, is because I am squeezing your dick." CW: Wet and gushy. While men have been musically aggrandizing their genitalia for, well, ever, Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion have conservative knickers in a (damp) twist over WAP, a paean to Wet Ass Pussy. [more inside]
posted by cyndigo at 4:36 PM PST - 90 comments

Inspiring Incarcerated Individuals to Visualize Their Dreams in Photos

“This project has helped me realize things I didn’t know about myself. I didn’t realize the strength I had…also the beauty in the other people as well as myself. My art is a different type of art—it isn’t drawing or making shit…it is like a form of art of the mind. Thought it endless. There is more than one possible way to think. For myself, I hope to spread strength and love.”
--Raymond, a participant in photographer Justin Maxon's Livin' the Dream [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 3:14 PM PST - 3 comments

73 Canadian short stories to read online, by diverse authors

73 Canadian short stories to read online, curated by author Kevin Hardcastle. Features a diverse group of writers including black (Canisia Lubrin, "The Origin of the Lullaby"; Pamela Mordecai, "Goat"; Ian Williams, "I Want it All, I Want it Now"), Indigenous (Cherie Dimaline, "After 'While"; Carleigh Baker, "War of Attrition"; Richard Van Camp, "Show Me Yours") and people of colour (Téa Mutonji, "Property of Neil"; Souvankham Thammavongsa , "Mom is in Love With Randy Travis"; Jack Wang, "The Night of Broken Glass"; and many more), nonbinary (Jane Eaton Hamilton, "Smiley"; Daniel Sarah Karasik, "Mine") and trans (Casey Plett, "A Love Like in the Movies") authors.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:01 PM PST - 5 comments

It Doesn’t Hurt, It Hurts All the Time

Jess Zimmerman writes about physical and emotional trauma, navigating the fear of a pandemic amid the panoptic awareness of others' fear and loss and pain, and the strange ways that wounds and healing proceed, in the excellent It Doesn’t Hurt, It Hurts All the Time.
posted by cortex at 2:27 PM PST - 13 comments

Cake update

Kronans kaka is made with potato, while a bible is required here. Edible rock garden cake. Dinosaur cheesecake. Chocolate courgette cake. Do you want cake AND crumble? Or Jaffa cake AND trifle? #CricketTea. Pigeon cake. Coffee, maple and walnut cake. Stonehenge. Someone take me to Burnham-on-Sea. Treacle and spice "Victoria sponge". Kvæfjordkake. From Malaysia, the geometry of kek lapis Sarawak. Curd cake. Sid. A 24 Carat Gold brownie. Hadrian's wall cake. Even portions. Greggs steak bake cake. Nibble on a bombolini. Stockholm cake purchasing. Kajagoogoo singer Limahl. Pleasantly silent owl. Hot fudge sundae cupcakes. #CakesOfKindness. Almond, black pepper and fig cake. Peanut butter cake. Soon, cake week, then Christmas! (Bonus: Vegan Swedish princess cake)
posted by Wordshore at 1:02 PM PST - 28 comments

Peter Hessler reporting on China's coronavirus response

"How China Controlled the Coronavirus" , a New Yorker article by Peter Hessler, details his experience as a journalism professor at Sichuan University. Hessler is a long-time writer at the magazine and he's considered by many Chinese to be their favorite writer on China.
posted by of strange foe at 8:35 AM PST - 21 comments

When a shadow falls on Paradise

On July 25th Japanese owned MV Wakashio, 203,000 GT went aground off Mauritius and the island now races to prevent an ecological disaster.
Frustrated by the government's inaction locals flock to help in every way possible. An initiative led by David Sauvage of ''Rezistans ek Alternativ'' has peple making bagasse based oil prevention booms. “Low-cost, low-tech, readily available materials that soak up oil''. Other people are cutting off their hair to assist the effort.
It is the worst environmental crisis in a generation. @Ariel_Saramandi is a local journalist worth following on twitter
Here's some news for you: the crew members were questioned by the police yesterday. They said that they steered the boat closer to the get an internet connection. They were celebrating a birthday party.
Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth, has said the country should “prepare for a worst-case scenario” as as the vessel is likely to “fall apart” as the crack in the hull widens.
Mauritius is a Tax haven.
posted by adamvasco at 7:48 AM PST - 20 comments

a place or temple dedicated to the muses

Define "museum". As shown by the turmoil that recently engulfed the International Council of Museums, this is easier said than done. [more inside]
posted by progosk at 3:30 AM PST - 17 comments

Compiler Pioneer

Frances Allen, Who Helped Hardware Understand Software, Dies at 88 (NYT). Allen worked at IBM for 45 years on software compilation, publishing a series of landmark papers on Program Optimization. Allen was the first woman to win the Turing Award and will be honoured by the IEEE with a new medal in her name. In an oral history from 2001, Allen talks about her education, getting a job at IBM, the changing place of women in technology from the 50s to 70s, managing teams, and the rewards of a career in computing. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 3:00 AM PST - 25 comments

August 10

Miracle at the Vistula

100 years ago this week, the Battle of Warsaw raged. Two years after the War to End All Wars, the just-established Soviet Union was invading Poland, hoping to stir revolution in central Europe. Polish forces were falling back and defeat looked likely, until a surprise attack yielded a stunning victory. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 11:52 AM PST - 34 comments

The Unravelling of America

As they stare into the mirror and perceive only the myth of their exceptionalism, Americans remain almost bizarrely incapable of seeing what has actually become of their country.
Activist Anthropologist and Public Ruminator Wade Davis discusses the decline of the American Empire. But his former colleague at UBC Deanna Kreisel counters with her own attempted take-down of smug Canadian exceptionalism.
posted by Rumple at 11:48 AM PST - 114 comments

Surprising nuggets from r/classicalmusic

Realistic render of Frédéric Chopin by Hadi Karimi. (Also, Chopin’s cartooning on his manuscript)
"If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music... I get most joy in life out of my violin."
Shostakovich Posing with a cat and a kitten. Also, a pig. Shostakovich working on Symphony 8
Saint-Saens in his amazing pajamas. Early 1900s
Colorized Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff. Also, Listz 4 months before he died. Extra, My great great Grandfather chilling with Rachmaninoff
Alfred Schnittke's gravestone. (And Stockhausen's) [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 4:21 AM PST - 11 comments

Sweatpants Forever

Even before the pandemic, the whole US fashion industry had started to unravel. What happens now that no one has a reason to dress up? (NYT). [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 2:56 AM PST - 188 comments

August 9

Puerto Rico and Guam are not countries

Yakko Warner sings the nations you can currently travel to from the US without restrictions
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:59 PM PST - 25 comments

#ColorOurCollections 2020

The New York Academy of Medicine Library, for the fifth year in a row, has released their #ColorOurCollections free coloring pages based on material from over 50 library/museum/archive organizations around the world. [more inside]
posted by saeculorum at 1:28 PM PST - 3 comments

The idea that queer people are not only allowed to live but thrive

With Steven Universe and She-Ra both having ended this year, PAPER invited showrunners Rebecca Sugar [non-binary, she/her/they/them] and Noelle Stevenson [non-binary, any pronouns] to sit down with one another and reflect on the legacies of their respective series, getting their start in comics, the state of representation in the animated field and where things go from here. [more inside]
posted by one for the books at 12:16 PM PST - 18 comments

The Therapy Equivalent of Uber

Several serious ethical crises emerging at online therapy companies like Talkspace and BetterHelp are gaining mainstream attention. Consumer beware: there are credible allegations of fake reviews on a grand scale (NYT), a CEO who openly advocates data mining of "confidential" (and undeletable) therapy transcripts (NYT), blatant HIPAA violations such as openly revealing patient emails (Forbes), and much more. [more inside]
posted by MiraK at 9:48 AM PST - 49 comments

Every Pokemon is interesting and worth talking about

Here's Another Pokemon is a weekend column on Kotaku by Zack Zwiezen which explores interesting, unusual, and startling Pokedex entries (with a fair amount of assistance from Bulbapedia). Each entry discusses a different Pokemon at length, with random facts, personal observations, and highlighted fan art and comments. [more inside]
posted by May Kasahara at 9:43 AM PST - 7 comments

"Tenderness ... shows the world as being alive, living, interconnected"

Olga Tokarczuk has written first-person stories, coincidentally with mild SF/F themes, e.g. "All Saints' Mountain" and "Borderland." There's also Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead (excerpt), "a suspenseful murder mystery and a powerful and profound meditation on human existence" (review). But her Nobel Prize lecture contemplates the potential "tenderness" of stories told in wide perspective, e.g. in her novel Flights (excerpt 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) and perhaps stories like "Dress Rehearsal," "The Knight," "An Evening with the Author," and "Preserves for Life." In "On the Highs and Lows of Translating Olga Tokarczuk," Jennifer Croft comments on how Tokarczuk's upcoming The Books of Jacob relates to that project. See also Croft's "When an Author You Translate Gets Death Threats" and recent status update.
posted by Wobbuffet at 4:23 AM PST - 7 comments

Google Organize

Social Movements Are Pushing Google Sheets to the Breaking Point (Medium soft-paywall) by Cindy Yu: "The proliferation of viral Google Sheets and Google Docs that break is a sign that collaboration has outgrown the collaboration tools at our immediate disposal. As the demographic of organizers and contributors has broadened and the scale of these projects has exploded, tools everyday citizens can use to spearhead these efforts have yet to catch up."
posted by adrianhon at 1:57 AM PST - 41 comments

August 8

Dickens, Copyright and the US Civil War

Charles Dickens the Copyright Confederate: If you talk about slavery and Charles Dickens, the first things people usually mention are American Notes for General circulation and Martin Chuzzlewit. In these books, he establishes himself as abolition-minded, a reputation that sticks today. Less well known is the way that his a frustration with American approach to copyright law eventually turned his sympathy and support towards the Confederacy during the war. [more inside]
posted by frumiousb at 8:53 PM PST - 5 comments

Brian Posehn has a Posse—6'X"—666 lbs

POSEHN"Grandpa Metal"
posted by not_on_display at 5:44 PM PST - 13 comments

Come and Get Your Love (At Last)

Redbone releases an official music video for "Come and Get Your Love" (SLYT) more than four decades after becoming "the first Native American band to achieve a Top 5 single on the Billboard Hot 100." Read more about the song, the band, and the visual artistry: Why 'Come and Get Your Love' now? After 46 years 'the time has come' (Sandra Hale Schulman, Indian Country Today).
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:44 PM PST - 29 comments

A convergence of artistic forces

Founded in 2007 by Antoine Hunter, Urban Jazz Dance Company (performances here and here) consists of a mix of professional Deaf and Hearing dancers. UJD views Deafness not as a disability, but as a human experience with its own values, principles, and cultural norms. Dance is one way that they bring those values and vision to light. [more inside]
posted by Toddles at 1:23 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Step 11: Open a Heineken

“I had gotten into cooking. I just loved food and hated going out to restaurants all the time, so I taught myself how to cook by reading books and practicing, just like you do on an instrument. I could cook most of the great French dishes—because I really liked French cooking—and all the black American dishes. But my favorite was a chili dish I called Miles's South Side Chicago Chili Mack. I served it with spaghetti, grated cheese, and oyster crackers."
--Miles Davis, on his famous chili recipe [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 12:12 PM PST - 34 comments

Lot 68: ‎€7,000

According to Acoma law, [the shields] were collectively owned; they could not leave the pueblo, nor could they be sold or destroyed. They were considered living beings rather than works of art. [...] One day in the early 1970s, the shield and five others vanished from the caretaker’s home.
Finding and returning one of the stolen ceremonial shields of the Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico.
posted by Rumple at 12:07 PM PST - 8 comments

You, who are members of the First Human Species

Last and First Men: a new film. The "70-minute cine-novella or essay film" (Peter Bradshaw) is based on Olaf Stapledon's 1930 novel (Gutenberg Australia etext).

It's posthumous work by Jóhann Jóhannsson, who wrote the music, collaborating with Yair Elazar Glotman. The film "began as a multimedia project in 2017" (Andrew Liptak).
It is narrated by Tilda Swinton. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 11:53 AM PST - 9 comments

How the compost gets made (in 5 minutes and 28 seconds)

8-week timelapse video of a worm bin in action.
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:46 AM PST - 9 comments

"Creepy Magician" or "Appropriate Magician"

Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair, made during the heyday of PC CD-ROM "interactive media", purported to talk a beginner through the art of filmmaking using clips from a fictitious movie starring the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Quentin Tarantino, Katherine Helmond as well as magicians Penn & Teller. Meanwhile, in 2020, developer Paolo Pedercini had the idea to take the video clips and create an interactive movie on the web, which you can now enjoy(?) for yourself. [more inside]
posted by selfnoise at 10:41 AM PST - 8 comments

TikTok Challenge

Amid Microsoft's attempt to buy TikTok before a September 20th "ban" (which TikTok says shows "no adherence to the law"), Instagram launched its knock-off feature Reels, just the latest in a long line of Facebook's clones of competing products. Sarah Jeong says "only question worth thinking about is why this matters to ordinary Americans — more specifically, should we be afraid of Chinese apps like TikTok?"
posted by adrianhon at 1:48 AM PST - 49 comments

August 7

Jerry Falwell Jr. to take 'indefinite leave of absence'

Jerry Falwell, Jr. posted a picture of himself on his yacht. It got him fired. He's been making trouble for himself, for a while.
posted by valkane at 10:19 PM PST - 84 comments

Inside the Iraqi Kleptocracy

The coronavirus pandemic has now pushed Iraq to the brink of an existential crisis. The global collapse of demand for oil has brought prices to historic lows, delivering a terrible shock to a country whose economy depends almost entirely on oil revenue. But it could also offer the new Iraqi prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, an extraordinary opportunity to face his country’s most intractable problem. Corruption can now be framed as a life-or-death issue: Iraq must choose between feeding its people and enriching its kleptocrats. Kadhimi has promised to take up this challenge. He is not likely to succeed unless the United States seizes this chance to undo some of the damage it has done in Iraq, and to make common cause with the protesters who are hoping to re-establish their country on a new footing.
posted by blue shadows at 6:48 PM PST - 21 comments

What’s lurking beneath Lake Merritt? More than you think

Citizen scientists are documenting the strange creatures living in the lake, and helping us understand how to rewild it.
This year, Oaklanders will celebrate Lake Merritt’s 150th anniversary as the country’s first wildlife refuge. But the lake, once called the “Lake of 1,000 Smells,” has never quite been able to shake off its reputation as a polluted cesspool. Some people assume that the urban body of water is man-made, unnatural, and inhospitable to wildlife. Since the city was founded in 1852, the plants, animals, and other life that live in Lake Merritt have struggled with poor water quality and trash. However, its waters are far from empty. More than 600 species have been identified at Lake Merritt, including non-native lifeforms from all over the world.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 5:41 PM PST - 2 comments

Caesar the No Drama Llama

Caesar the No Drama Llama is a 5'8", 350lb, llamactivist becoming famous for showing up at protests offering emotional support hugs. [more inside]
posted by saeculorum at 4:13 PM PST - 13 comments

5 Shorts Project/Projet 5 courts

The National Film Board of Canada's 5 Shorts Project "explores the short documentary genre by working with artist-run centres or production centres throughout the various regions of Quebec," and the fourth edition consists of films "created by a filmmaker-sound artist duo: Attuned (Steve Verreault and Sébastien Dave Tremblay) [NFB | YouTube], Mounds (Nicolas Paquet and Tom Jacques) [NFB | YouTube], It'll Be Nice Out Tomorrow (Guillaume Lévesque and Antoine Létourneau-Berger) [NFB | YouTube] and Night Fair (Cynthia Naggar and Gueze) [NFB | YouTube]." [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:24 PM PST - 2 comments

Smooth angles that would minimize anal trauma

From the JSTOR daily blog, "this is how they wiped themselves in Ancient Rome" (direct link to BMJ article) (previously). A deeper dive into the history of toilets. (epic previously).
posted by Rumple at 10:33 AM PST - 41 comments

Community is for helping

Tips For Community Fundraising during hard times. [edited to add] Void Academy's Siena Oristaglio offers advice for artists on how to raise funds to support themselves during crisis.
posted by storybored at 9:32 AM PST - 10 comments

yet another incremental game

distance incremental an incremental game in which you build rockets, manipulate time, and in general just go really absurdly far [more inside]
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 8:36 AM PST - 155 comments

The (witty banter) that threatens doom

Two Minutes to Late Night (s01 finale) is a Brooklyn-based musical talk show fronted by Gwarsenio Hall (aka Jordan Olds) alongside house band Mutoid Man, featuring a combination of live musical performances, guest appearances, and in-depth interviews. During the pandemic lockdown, the team has been working to organize collaborative covers recorded remotely by wide ranging performers and a fantastic selection of songs - see the most recent, Emma Ruth Rundle + Mastodon + YOB + Old Man Gloom covering Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill". [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon at 8:09 AM PST - 15 comments

"Like a greasy chip butty, oh Sheffield United, come thrill me again"

Hello. (Guardian) How to eat: chip butties. (your terminology may vary) An example of one in Scunthorpe. This chippy uses stotties. Add salad cream to taste, or tomato ketchup, or in Sheffield with Henderson's Relish (nearby posh), or in Barnsley with a side, or in Scotland replace with egg, or add baked beans, or in Gloucester ram it all in with your large battered sausage. A legitimate butty uses margarine (cheapest is bestest), and not butter. A close up. Chip shop chips are best. There are other edible and non-edible uses of chips, and scallops. WikiNot. For meat eaters, the British Sandwich Association has information on the bacon butty. (title and lyrics)
posted by Wordshore at 7:29 AM PST - 59 comments

August 6

Ex-King Juan Carlos leaves Spain

Juan Carlos, former King of Spain, is now elsewhere. Seems like he was doing some corruption and personal enrichment behind the scenes. Now he has left Spain. This tarnishes his role in the restoration of democracy after Franco in '75 and resistance to the coup in '81. Current King Felipe VI, his son, has taken steps to distance himself from his father's financial dirt.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:55 PM PST - 26 comments

Sometimes it’s easier to rewrite genetics than update Excel

Despite years (previously) of warnings (previously) to not use Excel for bioinformatics, it seems that it is a habit which cannot be broken. So, instead, over the past year or so, some 27 human genes have been renamed, all because Microsoft Excel kept misreading their symbols as dates.
posted by clawsoon at 2:27 PM PST - 131 comments

The Fire This Time Festival - 7 Short Plays

AllArts is streaming several short plays from The Fire This Time Festival, which provides a platform for early career playwrights of African and African American descent. Plays should be available through August 8 (or later?); they may not be available in all parts of the world, but the pages do include transcripts. The plays were filmed at the Kraine Theater in early 2020. Also available at the PBS site. [more inside]
posted by kristi at 1:08 PM PST - 2 comments

Twilight of the Imperial Chef

Building on Alicia Kennedy’s On Restaurants and The Death of the Chef and Tien Nguyen’s What would a food media that de-centers employers look like?, Tejal Rao says it’s time to move away from the chef-auteur (NYT). “White male chefs who already fit neatly into the stereotype of the auteur are overrepresented, praised for a highly specific approach to fine dining, then rewarded with more investment and opportunities to replicate that same approach. So many alternative kinds of food businesses are never considered for awards or investments. They don’t fit into the chef-auteur framework, and in some cases have no desire to do so.”
posted by adrianhon at 12:34 PM PST - 28 comments

Perfect aleatoric pan flute music

From Nagasaki Biopark in 2014, “Beaver baby wants to swim and worried family”
posted by Going To Maine at 12:01 PM PST - 22 comments

The End Of The NRA?

After several years of bloody internal fights that had shown self-dealing and corruption throughout the structure of the National Rifle Association, NYS AG Letitia James has filed suit to dissolve the organization under state laws regarding fraud in charitable organizations. (SLTPM) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:30 AM PST - 141 comments

46% of film characters with mental health conditions depicted as violent

The Annenberg Inclusion Initiative study on mental health in popular storytelling (pdf) examined 100 top-grossing films and 50 popular TV series to understand the prevalence and depiction of mental health conditions in entertainment. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 7:43 AM PST - 19 comments

A 90 minute interview with IC3PEAK

The Russian duo filmed an interview with Dude (English subtitiles). Topics include opposition, radicalism, feminism, working together, hiring people to cry at funerals, and more. [more inside]
posted by WeekendJen at 7:27 AM PST - 1 comment

Satirizing the Jonathan Swan interview

Making fun of Trump — who has long existed as outright self-parody — was never easy. Two parodies of the Axios interview from yesterday deserve mention:
1. Study Hall
2. Do you like me, Jonathan? (By TrumpDraws!). (Via)
Extra: The Curb Your Enthusiasm version
And Extra/Extra: Why Your Boomer Parents Are Obsessed With Sarah Cooper:... “For your parents, at least — the pleasure of seeing Cooper or anyone else simulate Trump’s idiocy is directly tied to the hope that he’ll see it and be very, very mad. That’s their little revenge, and they’re addicted to it. Harmless in the short-term, no doubt; the worry is that over time, the schtick folds fascism, hate and violence into simple clownery. With Trump, that’s a mistake we’ve repeated since the start”.
posted by growabrain at 6:48 AM PST - 45 comments

August 5

Mind the Gap: A Handbook of Clinical Signs in Black and Brown Skin

Malone Mukwende, 20, is a second-year medical student at St George’s, University of London. “On arrival at medical school I noticed the lack of teaching in darker skin. We were often being taught to look for symptoms such as red rashes which I was aware would not appear as described in my own skin,” he told BME Medics. “When flagging this to tutors it was clear that they didn’t know of any other way to describe these conditions on patients of darker skin tones and I knew that I had to make a change to that.” (Atlanta Black Star, July 9, 2020) The result is "Mind the Gap: A Handbook of Clinical Signs in Black and Brown Skin." [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:49 PM PST - 16 comments

The streaming service that blooms in adversity

Along with reporting a $4.7 billion loss in the last quarter, Disney announced its next major movie, Mulan, will be premiering to Disney+ subscribers at a cost of $30 to rent. This is only the latest shock in the movie industry, which last month saw AMC Theatres agree for Universal’s movies to become available rent merely 17 days after they’ve started playing in theatres. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 12:30 PM PST - 110 comments

Persepolis: Story of young Iranian girl during the Islamic Revolution.

Persepolis is a 2007 adult animated film based upon the Marjane Satrapi autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. Persepolis is the poignant story of a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It was written and directed by Satrapi in collaboration with Vincent Paronnaud. The story follows a young girl as she comes of age against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. The title references the historical city of Persepolis. The film was an international co-production made by companies in France and Iran. It premiered at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, where it co-won the Jury Prize, alongside Silent Light. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 10:57 AM PST - 13 comments


Republicans Aid Kanye West's Bid to Get on the 2020 Ballot At least four people who have been active in Republican politics are linked to Kanye West’s attempt to get on the presidential ballot this year. The connection raises questions about the aims of the entertainer’s effort and whether it is regarded within the G.O.P. as a spoiler campaign that could aid President Trump, even as those close to Mr. West have expressed concerns about his mental health as he enters the political arena. (Danny Hakim and Maggie Haberman, NYT)
posted by box at 9:29 AM PST - 88 comments

Hoo-rah hoo-rah hoo-rah-yay...

...over the hill with the Swords Of A Thousand Men, by Tenpole Tudor (Alternative, ToTP, performance), reached #6 in the UK singles chart, in April 1981. In the same year, they would release Wunderbar. The song was written and sung by Edward Felix Tudor-Pole, who is still performing.
posted by Wordshore at 8:47 AM PST - 19 comments

Listen. In the beginning, there was mutura.

Ireland has black pudding, France has boudin noir, South Korea has soondae, and Spain has morcilla. Kenya has mutura. Sometimes translated into English as "African blood sausage" in that mannerless way we have of translating non-English things into English, mutura is richer than its European relatives, as it’s packed with a powerful blend of spices. Mutura will have ginger; it will have garlic; it will have scallions, cilantro, and chile so fine and wonderful a person weeps for joy while eating it. Nothing else matters. Carey Baraka for Serious Eats
posted by ChuraChura at 8:45 AM PST - 29 comments

"There was another reason to be so anxious."

Miyamoto Yuriko, "The Breast" (1935): "The streetcar struggle had begun in September, and this day care participated in support activities, so ever since the veteran Sawazaki Kin was hauled off, plainclothesmen from the precinct were coming by at unexpected times. She'd be no match if they barged in with some sort of pretext like Tried knocking but nobody answered so we thought maybe there was a burglar in here." Miyamoto's "The Family of Koiwai" [PDF] is a similar example of Japanese proletarian literature. After writing a feminist I-novel (defined; excerpts [PDFs]) about her first marriage, Miyamoto began a relationship with Yuasa Yoshiko, lived with her in the USSR, and wrote non-fiction like "Soviet 'Workers' Clubs,'" "The State of Moscow: Christmas There," and "Crossing the New Siberia." Then she joined the outlawed Japanese Communist Party (history), married its future leader, and wrote novels about his release from prison at the end of the war (excerpts [PDF]).
posted by Wobbuffet at 8:41 AM PST - 1 comment

August 4

Baby Sea Otter Live Stream

Joey is an orphaned sea otter pup currently in care at the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre.
Watch him here.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:44 PM PST - 15 comments


What ARGs can teach us about QAnon. "QAnon is not an ARG[Alternate Reality Game]. It’s a dangerous conspiracy theory, and there are lots of ways of understanding conspiracy theories without ARGs. But QAnon pushes the same buttons that ARGs do, whether by intention or by coincidence. In both cases, “do your research” leads curious onlookers to a cornucopia of brain-tingling information. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 8:17 PM PST - 43 comments

"but what normal looks like varies dramatically."

As the global death toll nears 700,000, the Guardian reports that six months on, coronavirus victories remain fragile, as public health authorities say the number of infections is accelerating and the peak still lies ahead. And yet, according to Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, areas that observed tight shelter-in-place constraints, like New York and some countries in Asia and Europe, showed that we can bring the deadly numbers down and bring back the economy in a safer public environment. [more inside]
posted by katra at 8:09 PM PST - 211 comments

"This has to stop."

This afternoon, the District Court of Southern Mississippi confirmed the qualified immunity for Police Officers in the case of Jamison v. McClendon, where the black plaintiff suffered an hours-long roadside ordeal at the hands of a white officer who had pulled him over for the temporary tag on his newly-purchased Mercedes being too hard to read. But the opinion itself is a thing of tragic, righteous beauty.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:59 PM PST - 78 comments

Harry Potter and the Deathly Weapons

Harry Potter with guns instead of wands. SLYT. Link to streaming full length movie in YouTube description. Warning: graphic gun violence
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:31 PM PST - 21 comments

The Truth is Paywalled but the Lies are Free

The Truth is Paywalled but the Lies are Free "let us briefly picture what 'totally democratic and accessible knowledge' would look like." [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 3:36 PM PST - 36 comments

Four Hylian shrooms

While reading acclaimed Irish novelist John Boyne's latest book The Traveller At the Gates of Wisdom, a Reddit user spotted a strangely familiar set of ingredients for red dye that included "spicy pepper, the tail of the red lizalfos and four Hylian shrooms." This happens to be how you dye clothes in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – and the top Google search result for "ingredients red dye clothes". Boyne fessed up and plans to "leave it as it is".
posted by adrianhon at 8:44 AM PST - 76 comments

The Canada Formerly Known as a Dominion

An exhaustive FAQ on Canada's former formal title, the Dominion of Canada, which has almost, but not quite, entirely ceased being used. There remains only one officer of the federal government whose title still contains the word "dominion" — the Dominion Carillonneur. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 8:17 AM PST - 48 comments

"It would seem I had planned everything according to Hoyle"

Katia Kapovich (Body, 7/19/2014), "Soup Gazpacho": "it's Saturday, the supermarket is packed to the gills, the five cashier girls are busy like robots and don’t even have time to look up from their work. What's necessary is to act quickly and decisively. I tossed the package with the hot dogs in my purse, stacked the three freshly packed containers of gazpacho soup one on top of the other, and proceeded to the exit. Explaining why I did it would take a long time." Kapovich's story is semi-autobiographical. Her poetry, written in both Russian and English, includes "The Ferry" and "The Green One Over There."
posted by Wobbuffet at 7:31 AM PST - 4 comments

"Two studs wide and angled at 45°"

George Cave looked at 52 examples of the LEGO "2×2 decorated slope", the type of brick typically used for minifig instrument panels. Many of them illustrated design philosophies underlying real-world interface design. Some of them did not.
posted by jackbishop at 5:45 AM PST - 21 comments

August 3

"Buster left a lasting imprint on the community."

Buster Keaton’s Last Stand
Production for The General involved guns, bombs, fires, and the blowing up of a bridge in a tiny Oregon town. When the filming was over, the comedic legend’s career was in tatters. Forty years later, the movie was hailed as a masterpiece.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 6:35 PM PST - 37 comments

she smiled in white / men’s faces to gain her freedom.

259 years ago, a girl captured somewhere between present-day Gambia and Ghana stepped off the Phillis, a slave ship, and onto the docks of Boston Harbor. She was thought to be “about seven years old, at this time, from the circumstance of shedding her front teeth.” In centuries to come, she would be recognized as the mother of the African-American literary tradition. A new collection of poetry by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers reimagines Phillis Wheatley’s life and the age in which she lived, combining fiction and scholarship to fill in the gaps in the archive, especially as they pertain to the lives of enslaved women in America, setting forth the life of the first documented African-American poet in verse by a Black poet of the 21st century. Elizabeth Winkler on how Phillis Wheatley was recovered through history for The New Yorker.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:20 PM PST - 8 comments

Unfair and Ugly

'Indian Matchmaking' Exposes the Easy Acceptance of Caste: "Netflix’s popular reality series is a tacit defense of arranged marriages and the role they play in upholding a system of discrimination." [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 4:32 PM PST - 36 comments

"I am stronger."

At a time when women's artistic gymnastics is undergoing significant upheaval as gymnasts break their silence worldwide to discuss abusive training environments, causing fans and participants alike to question what the future of the sport can possibly look like, Chellsie Memmel, a 32-year-old mother of two from Wisconsin, has emerged from retirement and announced her intent to return to elite competition. [more inside]
posted by angeline at 3:39 PM PST - 17 comments

The Devil's Chord or a Tap on the Shoulder

There is no single continuous “blip” of a monitored heartbeat threatening to end in the stereotypical screaming flat line. It is more a continual fidgeting of sound, a representation of the chaotic systems of a body responding to clinical adjustments in a recursive, non-linear dance toward wellness or death. After a week of sitting beside an intubated loved one, it becomes like birdsong, a fact of nature in this strange, still, pale glade.
posted by Rumple at 11:26 AM PST - 4 comments

Fun with flags, y'all

Mississippi is changing their flag! The old flag is gone. The submission period for new flag designs ended August 1. All the (more than 2000) flag designs that met the legislative criteria are in this gallery. [more inside]
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:11 AM PST - 145 comments

Amazing theme park queue areas

Beautiful and intricate queue areas from theme parks around the world.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:43 AM PST - 20 comments

"Symbolic of the nostalgia for a life I didn’t know."

Scholastique Mukasonga (The New Yorker, 11/12/2018), "Cattle Praise Song": "'Karekezi,' my father said, 'look after Intamati.' I went to her immediately: she was one of those cows we call isine, with a shiny black hide. My father had likely assigned her to me because she was a heifer known for her strength, who might one day lead the herd." Mukasonga explains her story in "On Tutsi Life and the Rwandan Genocide." More recently, she explains her story "Grief" in "On Writing and Mourning from Exile." Excerpts from Cockroaches, The Barefoot Woman, and Our Lady of the Nile are available online.
posted by Wobbuffet at 6:53 AM PST - 2 comments

Won't You Be My Neighbor Totoro?

Studio Ghibli, the beloved animation film studio, is opening a theme park near Nagoya, Japan in Fall 2022. Not to be confused with the existing Ghibli Museum, the park will feature five lands including Springtime of Life Hill (Howl's Moving Castle), Dondoko Forest Area (My Neighbor Totoro), Ghibli Large Warehouse Area (with a dining area inspired by Spirited Away), Mononok's Village Area, and Witches' Valley Area (Kiki's Delivery Service).
posted by adrianhon at 6:15 AM PST - 35 comments

a more shared sense of reality

The first two episodes of a new podcast from the Serial team (now a NYT company) are out: Nice White Parents (rss) ep 1. The Book of Statuses (TAL/Spotify/Apple/Google/Art19) and ep 2. "I Still Believe In It" (Spotify/Apple/Google/Art19). Reactions have been quite varied and... colorful. [more inside]
posted by progosk at 5:09 AM PST - 15 comments

August 2

Hutt River Province, 1970–2020

After 50 years of secession, the Principality of Hutt River will rejoin Australia. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:58 PM PST - 26 comments


Quest for the Man-Sized Spider Jenny Nicholson goes on a road trip to find an extremely large spider.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:10 PM PST - 21 comments

Our power as players comes from being together

As the fall college football season barrels ever closer despite COVID, SEC officials told players in a private phone call this week, “There are going to be outbreaks. We’re going to have positive cases on every single team in the SEC. That’s a given. And we can’t prevent it (wapo).” Meanwhile, players at the Pac12 stand united in a series of demands to protect and benefit both scholarship and walk-on athletes addressing concerns related to COVID, economic freedom, medical care, and racism, among other things, and plan to sit out the season until demands are met. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 4:54 PM PST - 33 comments

"The Singing Selfie"

Each month, Islington Folk Club here in North London eases the boredom of lockdown by holding a competition called Trad2Mad, inviting its members and friends to post YouTube performances of themselves singing, unaccompanied, a traditional folk song, a modern pop song you might never have expected to hear in that style, or any other damn thing they feel like contributing. A shortlist is them produced, votes gathered and a winner selected. There were a few entries I really liked this month, which you'll find direct links to below. [more inside]
posted by Paul Slade at 3:24 PM PST - 5 comments

"Writers, Musicians, and Music fans on one album that changed them."

Hanif Abdurraquib's ongoing "playlist project" SIXTY EIGHT 2 OH FIVE includes year-by-year playlists and links to live performances from 1968 to 2005, and essays from friends "about a single album that turned their world upside down." Essays to date: "2005: Keyshia Cole, The Way It Is," by Nabila Lovelace; "1976: Bob Dylan, Desire," by Matt Mitchell; "1993: Janet Jackson, Janet", by Aricka Foreman; "1969: Johnny Cash, At San Quentin," by Adia Victoria; "2000: Jill Scott, Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1," by Tomás Miriti Pacheco; and "1997: Radiohead, OK Computer," by Vivian Lee; "1991: Pearl Jam, Ten," by Nicholas Russell. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:35 PM PST - 5 comments

A Complicated History of Han Chinese Anti-Blackness

A Complicated History of Han Chinese Anti-Blackness. (Medium) Frankie Huang reflects on the relationship between Han chauvinism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness. Previously, Eileen Huang (no relationship) calls out the Asian-American community to reflect on the contributions of Black activists to Asian-American civil rights. [more inside]
posted by Anonymous at 1:27 PM PST - 10 comments

How a Cheese Goes Extinct

How a Cheese Goes Extinct Ruby Tandoh writes about the culture, history and anthropology of cheesemaking through the lens of the British artisanal cheese industry. "When you talk with cheese aficionados, it doesn’t usually take long for the conversation to veer this way: away from curds, whey, and mold, and toward matters of life and death. With the zeal of nineteenth-century naturalists, they discuss great lineages and endangered species, painstakingly cataloguing those cheeses that are thriving and those that are lost to history."
posted by simonw at 11:57 AM PST - 26 comments

2020 GLAAD Media Award Winners

Here Are All the Winners From the 2020 GLAAD Media Awards [Billboard link] Full list and links below the fold. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:54 AM PST - 10 comments

Read a Book with Kara

Kara Brown is starting a new fiction book club. The first book of the month is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 7:38 AM PST - 5 comments

"This is just people using big science words to sound magical"

Randonautica claims to be a "quantumly generated Choose Your Own Adventure game" for smartphones. With over 10 million downloads and often false or exaggerated viral videos on TikTok and YouTube, the app has been criticised for saying it can read your thoughts (NYT). Daniel J. Rogers, a physicist who has worked with quantum random number generators, called Randonautica’s "mind-machine interaction" theory “completely absurd.”
posted by adrianhon at 4:19 AM PST - 38 comments

A blind and opaque reputelligent nosedive

Data isn't just being collected from your phone. It's being used to score you. - "Operating in the shadows of the online marketplace, specialized tech companies you've likely never heard of are tapping vast troves of our personal data to generate secret 'surveillance scores' — digital mug shots of millions of Americans — that supposedly predict our future behavior. The firms sell their scoring services to major businesses across the U.S. economy. People with low scores can suffer harsh consequences."[1] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 2:46 AM PST - 33 comments

August 1

The Hugo Awards for 2020

2020's Hugo Award winners were announced this weekend in a lengthy livestream available as a merciful edit. Full stats [PDF] break down votes on nominees discussed previously. Rebecca F. Kuang's acceptance speech for the newly-renamed Astounding Award movingly summarized issues in the field, and Jeannette Ng won a Hugo for her previous acceptance speech for the renamed award. Departed members of the community were memorialized in an annual list and in Neil Gaiman's acceptance speech. As for the presentation, Andrew Liptak says, "Last night's Hugo Awards ceremony was a mess," and Natalie Luhrs says, "George R.R. Martin can fuck off into the sun." SFWA President Mary Robinette Kowal: "This is a large systemic failure." ConZealand's statement. GRRM's first comment and his second. John Scalzi on how to be a Hugo MC. Incidentally, the Retro Hugo results [PDF] presented a related issue for the eighth time.
posted by Wobbuffet at 10:28 PM PST - 116 comments


#Cocovid is a online, interactive multiday event with live panels and other videos with members of the Youtube costuming community (known as CosTube). In normal times, this weekend would see costumers and cos players head to Costume College, a 3 day conference with classes and events for all aspects of costuming. Due to covid-19, the conference has been cancelled but the costuming and historical fashion community has come together to produce #CoCoVid. [more inside]
posted by poxandplague at 4:42 PM PST - 4 comments


In the pre-internet days, a notorious punk hotline was one of the few ways hardcore teens and metalheads could get up-to-the-minute information about upcoming shows in NYC and the surrounding suburbs.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:57 AM PST - 15 comments

harmony between precisely structured Kufic & exuberance of living matter

In the Over the Shoulder series, London-based, French-Lebanese artist Joumana Medlej gives us glimpses into the exquisitely detailed process for "The Book of the Moon" and "Reverence for the Land" which "used pigments extracted from stones I picked up in Epping Forest and in Mount Lebanon so that it brings together the two lands I call home." Medlej's list of resources on Arabic calligraphy and sacred geometry. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:54 AM PST - 5 comments