August 2021 Archives

August 31

A brief refresher on legal abortion in the USA

Roe vs. Wade (1973): The Supreme Court case that held that the Constitution protected a woman’s right to an abortion prior to the viability of the fetus. (Link also covers Abortion in the Supreme Court Post-Roe) [more inside]
posted by aniola at 11:01 PM PST - 131 comments

Duran Duran Singles Singles

Duran Duran continue building toward their new album with two new singles: More Joy (feat. CHAI), and Anniversary.
posted by hippybear at 10:03 PM PST - 8 comments

The Red-Pilling of Kitson

The boutique that defined early-aughts L.A. style has taken an … unexpected turn. “But we don’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe he is going to become the MyPillow guy of L.A. fashion.”
posted by geoff. at 6:32 PM PST - 11 comments

The Arrogance of Boss Fights

John Walker’s blog Buried Treasure covers games people “likely miss” if they only follow the regular games sites. He plays and reviews the games; mostly indies, mostly uncommon genres or interesting twists on popular ones. Recently Walker revisited a topic covered previously: the frustration of boss fights that prevent you from playing most of a game.
posted by Foaf at 1:57 PM PST - 101 comments

Why Should Americans Hear From a Rich White Man Right Now?

Max Abelson relates his "Covid conversations" with a one of America's richest men. [Bloomberg] [Archive] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 1:38 PM PST - 28 comments


Why are hyperlinks blue? "The internet has ingrained itself into every aspect of our lives, but there’s one aspect of the digital world that I bet you take for granted. Did you ever notice that many links, specifically hyperlinks, are blue?" Elise Blanchard investigates in an article on the Mozilla blog.
posted by jazon at 1:08 PM PST - 43 comments

retail, disability, zombies, etc.

A few short scifi/fantasy stories about dark situations that turn out surprisingly well. The day nearly everyone at Evil-Mart called in sick, and the sequel. One person who gets bitten by a zombie.... yet never turns. And some survivors of the robot apocalypse getting an unexpected invitation from their new overlords.
posted by brainwane at 11:19 AM PST - 11 comments

This is the first layer in the internet onion.

This website,, will live from August 11th through September 14th, 2021 — about 5 weeks total, the average lifespan of a non-refrigerated onion. [more inside]
posted by forbiddencabinet at 11:09 AM PST - 1 comment

Ableism is one of our society’s greatest failings

Death by a Thousand Words: COVID-19 and the Pandemic of Ableist Media [Refinery29] by Imani Barbarin.
When it comes to ableism, non-disabled people are fairly predictable and uncreative. So, watching as the media repeated over and over that the "healthy" had nothing to fear from the virus, my stomach was pitted with dread. We would never be free of COVID-19. While non-disabled people were willing to relax at the misguided belief that only the elderly and disabled would be affected by COVID, disabled people predicted it early: the coronavirus pandemic would be a mass disabling event.
posted by heatherlogan at 10:04 AM PST - 17 comments

Zeynep Tufekci on the pandemic and underlying social problems.

Tufekci is a strikingly sensible sociologist who was early about the importance of masking. "Yes, this is a really difficult question because I ended up writing an op-ed essentially criticizing CDC and the WHO on masks in March 2020. At the time, people were still saying masks could infect you, make things worse. Never in a million years I thought I’d start my own personal pandemic, criticizing global health authorities or the CDC. That was a really weird situation." [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 9:27 AM PST - 14 comments

a third reaction is possible: changing the frame of public health

Phthalates, a class of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, are widely known to be harmful to human health. Phthalates are very common in plastics, cosmetics, and apparently menstrual pads, because certain phthalates (there are many of them) can help a substance dissolve or can make plastics harder to break. Women, femme-identified gender minorities, and children are most vulnerable to exposure because phthalates are so often found in the products they are more likely to use: cleaning products, cosmetics, baby toys, and more. (To be clear, this is a general statement based on how gender roles inform and even constrain choices.) Endocrine disruptors like phthalates disproportionately harm disabled people, poor people, and people who are not cis adult men. What are we going to decide to do about it?
posted by sciatrix at 9:13 AM PST - 8 comments

Fox and the Big Lie

Australian Broadcasting Corp's superb doc -- How Fox News promoted Donald Trump’s propaganda and helped destabilise democracy in the United States of America. Part 1 Part 2
posted by dobbs at 5:48 AM PST - 13 comments

August 30

Houseplants be like: due to personal reasons I will be passing away.

Dramatic Houseplants (it's just a subreddit, but a good one)
posted by phunniemee at 3:01 PM PST - 43 comments

College Radio for Your Eyes

Why is Phyllis so excited? Perhaps because it's time for another broadcast from The Museum of Home Video, a found-footage channel dedicated to unearthing the strangest possible video ephemera for its audience of "stoners, seekers, archivists and drinkers." Over the last year, the channel's hosts have aired everything from Angela Lansbury's Positive Moves workout tape to an entire bat mitzvah, interspersed with the best of local news, public access, cursed commercials, CHiPs freeze-frame supercuts, Richard Lewis' BoKu adult juice box ads, Carol Channing, and much, much more. [more inside]
posted by crosley at 2:33 PM PST - 7 comments

nothing will keep us together

Enter Shikari's acoustic+ cover of David Bowie's Heroes from their Spring 2021 pandemic/at-home/refresh/alt-versions album Moratorium (Broadcasts From The Interruption) [more inside]
posted by glonous keming at 1:53 PM PST - 8 comments

It’s a Long Way Down

There is anecdotal evidence to suggest this process may disproportionately affect women and people of colour. Songwriter Coco Morier, who has written for Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, says she’s seen plenty of young female artists “lectured and berated” by the male studio teams they are collaborating with, and who are “deemed a creation of the label and the producers behind them, instead of them being signed on their talent and allowed to have their creative vision.” from The Pop Stars Kept in Limbo by Major Labels
posted by chavenet at 1:20 PM PST - 20 comments

Wastin' Away Again on 7th Avenue

"[T]he whole ethos behind the resort is acknowledging that work sucks and no one wants to do it, but that ethos can only thrive in relation to work. If work didn’t suck, no one would be there. [...] I thought of what Margaritaville might look like if we acknowledged we had enough resources to go around, that no one has to work as hard as they do for as little as they get. What would a vacation, a nice meal, or a rooftop cocktail look like if it didn’t have to carry so much weight?" Jaya Saxena writes about the Times Square Margaritaville resort for Eater.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:52 AM PST - 94 comments

Common Prosperity

Vaccinated Democratic Counties Are Leading the Economic Recovery - "The 520 counties Biden won account for fully 71% of U.S. gross domestic product, while the 2,564 that Trump carried produced just 29%. In other words, America's economic engine is bluer than ever." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 3:33 AM PST - 189 comments

August 29

There Is No Philosophy In California

In California, as in the Transvaal, there is this peculiar experience of feeling indigenous down to the soles of one’s feet. But this is a feeling that, however strong, however poetically true, can only be maintained through sheer ahistorical ignorance, or, if this ignorance should regrettably be lost, can only be made explicit and defended through specious ideology. Whether a descendent of the Voortrekkers or of the Donner Party, it is at once both manifestly obvious and completely implausible that one belongs —cosmically, politically, physiologically— where one lives. from What Was California? by by Justin E. H. Smith [Berfrois] [Previously]
posted by chavenet at 1:16 PM PST - 35 comments

Freakazoid has lost his Cosgrove

Ed Asner, the Iconic Lou Grant on Two Acclaimed TV Series, Dies at 91 [Hollywood Reporter, Archive link]
posted by hippybear at 12:26 PM PST - 91 comments

Herrera wasn’t a saint. But he may have been something better than that.

"Costa Rica shows what an alternative looks like." Atul Gawande explores the benefits of Costa Rica's "braid[ed] together" health care and public health systems. (SLNYorker) [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 11:30 AM PST - 11 comments


Lee 'Scratch' Perry, pioneering reggae producer, has died at age 85. In addition to being one of the people who invented dub reggae, he's also known for his interesting interviews (2016, 2018, 2019, 2021), his epic discography, and the Black Ark Studio.
posted by box at 11:07 AM PST - 65 comments

"Discover amazing Earth imagery.
    "Use the arrows on the sides to browse selected images.
    "Click anywhere on the map to zoom in.
    "•🔀• Random location (or hit space).
    "•📷• Submit a view to the gallery.
            "Let's go."
posted by not_on_display at 12:26 AM PST - 21 comments

August 28

"Barbie Career of the Year as a Window on Centrist Feminism"

"I am not, nor have I never been, a Barbie collector, but I find the Career of the Year series fascinating as a metric of public attitudes toward feminism. .... Generally Mattel’s team wants to present Barbie as a feminist trendsetter but in a centrist way, a model of forward-thinking but non-controversial feminism, and it’s fascinating to watch that metric evolve." Ada Palmer (previously) discusses the decade-long history of the Career of the Year series, and notes, "Barbie’s 2020 Career of the Year is (for the first time) not a single Barbie but a team". And what happened in 2017?
posted by brainwane at 10:28 PM PST - 39 comments

Food, Beauty, Mind

Abigail Thorn speaks about the philosophy of food and the impossible ideals we hold ourselves to in the most recent edition of her YouTube channel PhilosophyTube (which has just hit one million subscribers)
posted by JDHarper at 8:38 PM PST - 14 comments

Curated, non-commercial, omnivorous film selections and chill

Cinephobe.TV: New York's First & Only TV Channel. Born of the pandemic and out of a shit posting insta account, The Cinephobe is programmed like a television channel, with a set schedule each day posted online guided by a passionate, discerning, and decidedly inclusive approach to movies.

Want more streaming movies? [more inside]
posted by latkes at 7:33 PM PST - 11 comments

Hurricane Ida

Hurricane Ida is set to be a major hurricane and track very near to New Orleans at midday Sunday on the anniversary of Katrina. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:25 PM PST - 76 comments

The call is coming from outside the house

Biology is how our moods and mental states are expressed, but it’s not the root cause of them. (slmedium)
posted by curious nu at 4:29 PM PST - 11 comments

An Oral History of the Kickstarter Union

An Oral History of the Kickstarter Union. Contributed by Clarissa Redwine. Kickstarter United is the first major tech workforce in the United States to achieve unionization in the face of antagonistic management. You can click through for transcripts, but make time to listen to the audio at least for Chapter 2, Catalyst, featuring Kickstarter's internal struggle over the small comic book project Always Punch Nazis. (Previously.) [more inside]
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:01 PM PST - 6 comments


Stephen Sondheim was riding pretty high in 1971. His show Company was a year into its strong Broadway run when he opened a second show on Broadway, the ambitious Follies. Directed by Hal Prince and Michael Bennett, the show ran for over 500 performances, won 7 Tony awards, introduced several new standards to the American Songbook, and ultimately closed as a financial failure. Here is a good quality audience recording of the 2011 Kennedy Center revival [2h10m], starring Bernadette Peters, Elaine Page, and Linda Lavin. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 12:22 PM PST - 8 comments

Hardly "The Gulag Archipelago"

In 2016, Grant established what he called the White Collar Support Group, an online meeting inspired by twelve-step programs for drug and alcohol addiction. He described the program as a step toward “ethics rehab” and, on his Web site, explained that it was for people who wanted to “take responsibility for our actions and the wreckage we caused.” In blunter terms, he told me that it was for “guys detoxing from power and influence.” from Life After White-Collar Crime (The New Yorker) [Archive version]
posted by chavenet at 11:41 AM PST - 9 comments

The Audience will become the Artist

Glenn Gould: Uninvited Guests. [archive version] In celebration of what would have been his 88th birthday, a group of hip-hop and electronic artists (with the blessing of the Gould estate) took some Gould samples and ran with them. Listen to the album.
posted by storybored at 10:41 AM PST - 10 comments

Nandi Bushell and Foo Fighters

11 year-old drum prodigy Nandi Bushell plays Everlong live on stage with the Foo Fighters. Video from backstage. Previously.
posted by mokey at 5:04 AM PST - 37 comments

August 27

Everyone loves collecting data, nobody loves analyzing it later

Denial was always untenable, for Zuckerberg in particular. The so-called techlash, a season of belatedly brutal media coverage and political pressure in the aftermath of Brexit and Trump’s win, made it difficult. But Facebook’s basic business pitch made denial impossible. Zuckerberg’s company profits by convincing advertisers that it can standardize its audience for commercial persuasion. How could it simultaneously claim that people aren’t persuaded by its content?
Bad News by Joseph Bernstein in Harper's ( link) [more inside]
posted by wesleyac at 4:24 PM PST - 45 comments

Joseph Galloway (November 13, 1941 – August 18, 2021)

Mr. Galloway, a 24-year-old reporter for United Press International, went on to witness and participate in the first major battle of the Vietnam War, in which an outmanned American battalion fought off three North Vietnamese army regiments while taking heavy casualties. He carried an M16 rifle alongside his notebook and cameras, and in the heat of battle, he charged into the fray to pull an Army private out of the flames of a napalm blast. [Washington Post]

He was the only civilian awarded a medal of valor by the Army for combat action in the Vietnam War. [NY Times] [more inside]
posted by riruro at 2:36 PM PST - 15 comments

It's like if Aaron Sorkin was a song

I hate “We Didn’t Start The Fire” so much. I hate it with my whole being, my entire soul. I hear that nattering keyboard riff and those hyperactive bongos and “Harry Truman Doris Day,” and I become a different being. My blood becomes lava. My teeth become knives. In seconds, I could reduce a rhinoceros to ashen bone with the sheer acidity of my stomach bile. As a song, “We Didn’t Start The Fire” is a cursed and godforsaken work of torment, a towering abomination. Its sheer musical unpleasantness is, in its own way, almost impressive. Over the course of writingThe Number Ones column for Stereogum, Tom Breihan has covered a lot of mediocre stuff. He can usually find some nugget of goodness or value in the drek. He does not hold back when it comes to Billy Joel's worst big hit. [more inside]
posted by Foaf at 2:20 PM PST - 209 comments

Richard in Hats

Want to see Richard in a hood with buckles? How about Richard in a yellow snood? Would you like to see Richard in a muffin bonnet? Have you ever wondered how Richard readies for the weather?

There's fourteenth century hats, bowler hats, bicornes (with instructions), and helmets. There are so many hats, too many to list here, but Richard wears them all.
posted by popcassady at 12:39 PM PST - 19 comments

There's no tying in baseball

Did Dottie Drop the Ball On Purpose?: Solving the Only Cinematic Mystery That Matters
The time has debate what is probably the most important question of an old millennial’s life: Did Dottie Hinson drop the ball on purpose at the end of A League of Their Own in order to let her sister shine?
[more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 10:08 AM PST - 24 comments

Coors Light, ice cold! Heineken, ice cold!

A portrait of the Coney Island beer hustle, from 2005.
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:27 AM PST - 14 comments

Come as you are? Nevermind

Spencer Elden, the now 30-year old who was the baby on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind album, has launched a lawsuit against 15 defendants related to the album and photo. Though he has previously embraced being the “Nirvana baby,” he now feels he was, among other accusations, sexually exploited.
posted by girlmightlive at 9:13 AM PST - 163 comments

I am not a woman, I'm a god

Much is being made (sl:pf, sgum, rstone) of Halsey's new album If I Can't Have Love, I Want Power.

Their fourth album was produced by Trent and Atticus of nine inch nails, and Colin Tilley's IMAX film looks to be p superior given its first radio single I am not a woman, I'm a god.
posted by kfholy at 6:28 AM PST - 30 comments

The Last Flight of Dr. Ain

The Last Flight of Dr. Ain [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 1:54 AM PST - 20 comments

This Is a Serene Place, But Not a Boring One

Dreamy, detailed, and sometimes deranged sentences run on like the riffs they describe. These posts are tender, nostalgic, and frequently celestial. Hipness, a linchpin of music writing, is nowhere in sight. Authority and expertise disappear when each opinion is about as right as the one above. It’s practically the most mellow body of writing I’ve ever found. Max Abelson reads the comments In the Dead Archives
posted by chavenet at 1:27 AM PST - 5 comments

August 26

TJ Eckleberg, green light, boats, current, etc. etc.

You can find plenty of free audiobooks at LibriVox (related AskMes),
and Phoebe Judge is still bringing her fine podcasting voice to Phoebe Reads A Mystery, one chapter of a book every day,
and now (hooray!) Nate DiMeo of The Memory Palace has jumped onto the bandwagon with a three-part reading of The Great Gatsby.
Part One 🍸 Part Two 🍸 Part Three
(Harp flourishes and interludes by Mary Lattimore.)
posted by Going To Maine at 12:07 PM PST - 8 comments

What’s MINE to care about and what’s NOT mine to care about?

And yet, when I check social media it feels like there are voices saying “if you aren’t talking about, doing something about, performatively posting about ___(fill in the blank)___then you are an irredeemably callous, priviledged, bigot who IS PART OF THE PROBLEM” and when I am someone who does actually care about human suffering and injustice (...) it leaves me feeling like absolute shit. I am left with wondering: am I doing enough, sacrificing enough, giving enough, saying enough about all the horrible things right now to think of myself as a good person and subsequently silence the accusing voice in my head?
posted by snerson at 11:55 AM PST - 68 comments


Tips to make beans gassier.
posted by aniola at 11:18 AM PST - 51 comments

The eldercare crisis in the United States

Talking to dozens of adult caregivers, I heard variations on the same theme over and over again: It’s brutal, it’s tearing my family apart, it makes me resent everyone, including the people for whom I’m providing care. The suffering is not new. The crisis has just further expanded within the middle class and the population at large, gradually making it less and less ignorable. “We can’t have a strong economy if we have millions of people working as full-time caregivers and making so little that they are still living in poverty,” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo recently told the New York Times. “We can’t have a strong economy when we have millions of other people dropping out of the work force to take care of elderly loved ones.”
posted by Lycaste at 10:04 AM PST - 76 comments

Black Film Archive

Black Film Archive celebrates the rich, abundant history of Black cinema. We are an evolving archive dedicated to making historically and culturally significant films made from 1915 to 1979 about Black people accessible through a streaming guide with cultural context.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:01 AM PST - 5 comments

"Keep the faith... enjoy your weekend."

Lloyd Dobyns, Peabody winner and anchor of two highly regarded NBC News programs, has died at age 85. The wry, dry, low-key American news correspondent anchored arguably two of the finest news programs NBC ever produced: the offbeat and groundbreaking newsmagazine "Weekend"; and the network's answer to ABC's "Nightline", "NBC News Overnight" with Linda Ellerbee. [more inside]
posted by zaixfeep at 8:34 AM PST - 13 comments

Mdou Moctar

Mdou Moctar stands out as one of the most innovative artists in contemporary Saharan music. Afrique Victime is the fullest portrait of Moctar’s gifts that he has offered yet. Live in Niamey, Niger. [more inside]
posted by dmh at 8:07 AM PST - 8 comments

Jonah Hill on the Myth of the Damaged Artist

Jonah Hill Is SuperGood - His 20s were wild: a parade of raunchy, era-defining comedies. Then Jonah Hill shifted gears, directing a deeply personal film and taking on the kinds of rich, complex roles he’s always wanted. Here he opens up to director Adam McKay (another funny guy gone serious-ish) about that evolution—and how nice it is when your happiness finally catches up with your success. [GQ]
posted by ellieBOA at 5:26 AM PST - 16 comments

In the ancient Americas, female big-game hunters were common

"Haas then looked at hundreds of records of burials across North and South America, and pulled examples where biological sex had been determined and big-game hunting tools were present with the remains. He found an almost equal amount of females as males represented, suggesting females were more likely to be hunters than previously thought."
posted by clawsoon at 4:49 AM PST - 29 comments

August 25

Everyone Already Knows What Owl She's Talking About

How Data Science Pinpointed the Creepiest Word in “Macbeth” (SL Medium) Actors and critics have long remarked that when you read Macbeth out loud, it feels like your voice and mouth and brain are doing something ever so slightly wrong. There’s something subconsciously off about the sound of the play, and it spooks people. It’s as if Shakespeare somehow wove a tiny bit of creepiness into every single line. The literary scholar George Walton Williams described the “continuous sense of menace” and “horror” that pervades even seemingly innocuous scenes.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:34 PM PST - 97 comments

30 Years Of Ten

August 25, 1991 -- Barely a year after coming together as a band, Pearl Jam released Ten [Wikipedia], their debut album. The release, supported by several hit singles (including one that basically broke MTV for a while) launched the band and is widely recognized as one of the top albums of all time. CD: Once, Even Flow [video], Alive [video], Why Go, Black, Jeremy [original video, uncensored MTV video], Oceans [video], Porch, Garden, Deep, Release - Master/Slave [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:31 PM PST - 44 comments

Our Never-Ending Empathy for Everything Is Backfiring

"A few years ago, I began to observe that the bulk of criticism I got was not about work I had actually done, or words I had in fact written, but about that which I wasn’t saying, or doing. I used to call this free-floating daily disparagement of all that we had failed to write or say aloud “negative spaces”—pun fully intended."
posted by geoff. at 7:26 PM PST - 29 comments

Ursula LeGuin, Jacqueline Jackson, and the Wooden Woman

A previously unpublished poem by Ursula LeGuin has just appeared on the web. You can learn much more about Jacqueline Dougan Jackson, children's author and college professor, on her website. [more inside]
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 3:10 PM PST - 5 comments

A history of Google messaging apps

Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica walks down memory lane and covers Google's various messaging app offerings over the past decade and a half. It's even more of a mess than you think.
posted by coolname at 2:08 PM PST - 59 comments

Delta Air Lines to require workers be vaccinated or pay

Delta Air Lines said Wednesday that it will require employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or face the alternative of weekly testing and a $200 monthly surcharge for health insurance. (SLWaPo) (alt, non-paywall source) [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:59 AM PST - 224 comments

I have no idea how these cats got wedged into acrylic squares, or why.

Hiding Images in Plain Sight: The Physics Of Magic Windows. Engineer Matt Ferraro shows how to make transparent acrylic squares with holographic images embedded in them.
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:29 AM PST - 24 comments

" state is more mocked, maligned and misunderstood."

The greatest thing about every single town in New Jersey, a five-part series by food and features writer Pete Genovese. Links to each individual installment below the fold. [more inside]
posted by May Kasahara at 7:13 AM PST - 58 comments

Parents are not okay

"Through these grinding 18 months, we’ve managed our kids’ lives as best we could while abandoning our own. It was unsustainable then, it’s unsustainable now, and no matter what fresh hell this school year brings, it’ll still be unsustainable." [SLAtlantic]
posted by sir jective at 2:30 AM PST - 100 comments

August 24

Hunka Down, Survive, and Strutt With Landis Expandis

Baltimore DJ/musician/painter Landis Expandis may be hunkering down, but together with his clones Harry and Larry he reminds us that even in this pandemic, It's Not the Same Day as Yesterday (YT). [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:39 PM PST - 9 comments

Take Meowt to the Ballgame

Is a Feral Cat Responsible For the Orioles Losing 18 Games in a Row? An Important Investigation This was going to be a single link post to Molly Knight's substack The Long Game (now you know what you're clicking on), but then I found: [more inside]
posted by the primroses were over at 4:49 PM PST - 26 comments

RIP Charlie

Charlie Watts, drummer of the Rolling Stones, passed away today at age 80. According to the Daily Telegraph, he was one of the World's Best Dressed Men. (their obit, non-paywalled)
posted by Rash at 2:38 PM PST - 95 comments

Tripping the Light fantastically

No One Has Ever Measured the One Way Speed of Light. (Veritasium video) ... in fact the one-way speed of light is not just unknown, it is undefined. Crazily enough, it is possible that light travels at 1/2c in one direction, and instantaneously in the reverse direction.
posted by storybored at 1:39 PM PST - 85 comments

This is an okapi

Cute okapi via chat. Wikipedia on okapis. Also known as the zebra giraffe. [more inside]
posted by aniola at 11:36 AM PST - 13 comments

*Seven* Modes? In this Economy!?

August 23rd marked the 30th anniversary of the Super Nintendo in North America. Considered by many to be the greatest console ever, even kids who grew up on the SEGA side have to give it respect. [more inside]
posted by Zargon X at 9:30 AM PST - 27 comments

A moment of silence for R. Murray Schafer

Composer, author, teacher, and pioneer of acoustic ecology R. Murray Shafer has passed away (CBC), NYT. [more inside]
posted by kmkrebs at 8:42 AM PST - 16 comments

August 23

Lorde's Third Album

First came the single Solar Power. Next came Stoned At The Nail Salon. Then the full album, Solar Power [43m, track time jumps in the description]. This NYT profile Lorde’s Work Here Is Done. Now, She Vibes. [Archive link] was pretty interesting. NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour discussion Lorde's 'Solar Power' Is A Whole Mood [23m listen, transcript plus audio link] was insightful about the album.
posted by hippybear at 8:08 PM PST - 28 comments

Dance of the p values

"You could play this at parties, develop a dance for the dance of the p values and reflect on how ridiculous it is that p values are right at the centre of our thinking about drawing conclusions from research."
posted by clawsoon at 6:51 PM PST - 27 comments

"You waited eight months?"

Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self Part 5 Julie Nolke goes from August 2021 to (presumably) December 2020 to give the news on how vaccination is going and how the Olympics went and Jeff Bezos's penis rocket. [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:55 PM PST - 37 comments

When America Had an Atomic Mecha Warrior Robot

“Fix an atomic rocket engine? Clean up spills of radioactivity? Rescue H-bomb victims? That’s what the Beetle is for.” This costly mechanical beast had a single purpose: to service and repair the USAF’s atomic-powered aircraft. Beetle’s specs might seem overkill, especially since it was created to service a vehicle that didn’t yet exist, but that’s not the case. It needed every bit of its power and shielding, especially if the pilot inside wanted to live.
posted by geoff. at 2:20 PM PST - 24 comments

Highly Vaccinated Israel Is Seeing A Dramatic Surge In New COVID Cases.

Half of Israel's seriously ill patients who are currently hospitalized were fully vaccinated at least five months ago. Most of them are over 60 years old and have comorbidities. Experts warn if countries do not vaccinate their populations, more variants will develop, threatening even vaccinated nations.
posted by folklore724 at 11:22 AM PST - 181 comments

Give it

Former billionaire Chuck Feeney, who cofounded airport retailer Duty Free Shoppers, anonymously gave away almost his entire net worth. Cited as an inspiration by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates for the Giving Pledge, he recently closed his philanthropic foundation after giving away $8 billion and lives in a small rented apartment in San Francisco.
posted by PhineasGage at 10:43 AM PST - 34 comments

The Hope

Hatikvah: Conceptions, Receptions and Reflections "Untangling these stories behind the story of Hatikvah is the core of this essay. For Hatikvah both is and is not what you think. It does not derive from Smetana nor from a Sephardic prayer. And an early Zionist pioneer did not compose it spontaneously. Nor did it become the national anthem of the State of Israel until very recently."
posted by dhruva at 10:38 AM PST - 10 comments

welcome to X E N O N

Suzanne Ciani Creates the Soundtrack for a Pinball Machine (slyt)
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:58 AM PST - 16 comments

Three Two One LET'S JAM

First photos from Netflix's live-action Cowboy Bebop, with plenty of Spike, Jet, Faye, and even a cameo by Ein. (But where is Ed?)
posted by Katemonkey at 7:13 AM PST - 109 comments

August 22

What is life?

Scientists Are Proposing a Radical New Framework to Redefine Life on Earth - "The union of two energetic and informatic processes that can encode and pass on adaptive information forward through time. Using this definition vastly increases what can be seen as life, to include concepts such as culture, forests, and the economy. A more traditional definition might consider these as products of life, rather than life itself." (previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:12 PM PST - 32 comments

Just walk

Oppezzo designed an elegant experiment. A group of Stanford students were asked to list as many creative uses for common objects as they could. The more novel uses a student listed, the higher the creativity score. Half the students sat for an hour before they were given their test. The others walked on a treadmill.   The results were staggering. Creativity scores improved by 60 percent after a walk.
posted by sammyo at 2:25 PM PST - 52 comments

25 Playwrights and their Plays, 1700-1799

Mary Pix (1666-1709): Manchester Metropolitan University recently posted a complete performance (production credits) of Mary Pix's comedy, The Beau Defeated (1700). The play was also adapted by the Royal Shakespeare Company under the title The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich (trailer), reviewed by Aparna Gollapudi: "Pix's successful play ... features two wealthy widows search of new husbands--Lady Landsworth pursues the disenfranchised younger brother, Younger Clerimont, to assure herself that he is indeed as honest as he is handsome, while Mrs. Rich is determined to marry into aristocracy ... The play includes many classic elements of Restoration comedy, such as the amorous widow, the bumbling country squire, and the extravagant fop; but it also looks forward to eighteenth-century comedy in its valorization of sober moderation, moral behavior, and economic prudence." [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet at 2:06 PM PST - 13 comments

Put yourself on the map

Take a plant. Leaf a plant.
posted by aniola at 10:11 AM PST - 4 comments

Brand new Cadillac. Großmodell. Chouette.

Vince Taylor was a rock 'n roll singer in Britain and France. Brand New Cadillac, do you remember? It was 1959. The observatory. What a strange story. [podcast with transcript. CW: mental illness, drug abuse, suicide mention] [more inside]
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 3:52 AM PST - 5 comments

Everybody knows her by the nickname of la Chona

The catchy 1995 Norteño/pop hit song "La Chona" by Los Tucanes de Tijuana has been covered hundreds of times by both professional and amateur musicians. There are also remixes and parodies. Of course, one can also just dance to it. The brave may choose to dance with moving vehicles by participating in the La Chona Challenge, which is risky but can be glorious. On occasion, it may become a little bit silly. [more inside]
posted by eotvos at 1:15 AM PST - 10 comments

August 21

Merrily We Roll Along

Stephen Sondheim was a hot property in 1981. Riding the momentum of Sweeney Todd, his next musical would be Merrily We Roll Along [Wikipedia], and that would be a gigantic flop, closing after over 50 previews, dozens of rewrites, and only 16 performances. The show would be rewritten again a couple of times before this 2012 London production was filmed [2h15m]. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:19 PM PST - 23 comments

"Yes, I’m getting bored of ranking these."

A deep academic discussion of all 56 flags for the United States. Wait. Wut? Fine. Fight it out. (Defector link. Free-ish. See below the fold.) [more inside]
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 2:05 PM PST - 101 comments

Flowers for teenage panic attacks

"Sickness can be a very isolating experience for everyone involved. Like many people, I’ve lived with illness for years. But there’s something about flowers—even if they are garish or they make you sneeze or they are hardly noticed—that can occasionally poke a tiny hole in the wall of isolation that separates sick people from their loved ones. Flowers for Sick People is my own way of looking at illness while trying to understand how humans struggle to connect in difficult times."--Tucker Nichols. He discusses his multimedia art and health project-- a series of vibrant flower paintings--here. (Via) [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:03 AM PST - 2 comments

Ball drop.

"For Dynamic Machines, I challenged 3D artists to guide a chrome ball from point A to point B in the most creative way possible. Nearly 2,000 artists entered, and in this video, the Top 100 renders are featured" [more inside]
posted by Gyan at 9:54 AM PST - 28 comments

"The man who can speak with his eyes"

How Tony Leung acts with his eyes, among other things. Tony Leung Chiu-Wai has played almost every type of role there is, from the comedic to dramatic, to tragic and romantic. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 8:35 AM PST - 22 comments

Heavy wood

I found the heaviest distortion pedal and used it on harp [SLYT]
posted by clawsoon at 8:17 AM PST - 22 comments

The DNA of dance music and club culture

The Dance Music Archive brings together 30 years of electronic music history through DJ mixes, radio shows, live sets, festival broadcasts, lost tapes, blogs, artwork, magazines and forgotten recordings. It is a time machine for our scene, containing an ever-growing library, collected and curated by our community from around the world. [more inside]
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:10 AM PST - 7 comments

bobos in ikea

"[...]I want to have one of those apartments that says something when people enter it. I want the apartment to extend out ahead of me and land like a solid, forceful thing in the minds of others.[...]It’s all stagecraft, of course. The accumulation of signifiers that when arranged into a tableau portray just the kind of cultured life that is underpinned by the right amount and the right kind of social capital." (slsubstack)
posted by Pong74LS at 6:47 AM PST - 26 comments

Faster, Stronger, Happier

How our female rowers ate more and triumphed : After discovering most of our top female rowers were at risk of RED-S syndrome, Rowing NZ and its coaches helped the athletes take up a challenge to eat more. The glittering results in Tokyo speak for themselves. By Suzanne McFadden for Newsroom.
posted by carolr at 6:00 AM PST - 21 comments


Twitter user @politic_animal set out at 3:00 am on Friday morning to answer the question "How far can you travel by local buses from London in twenty-four hours?" Here's a ThreadReader compilation of his ongoing reports from the epic journey. [more inside]
posted by Grangousier at 3:19 AM PST - 52 comments

Hey, Bézier Curves (SLYT)

The Beauty of Bézier Curves - YouTube. Earlier this year, 3blue1brown put out a video Why arent you making math videos? (Also, a 3b1b podcast) - YouTube encouraging mathy people to take the plunge and make videos. This is one of the results.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:45 AM PST - 4 comments

So Long, Tom T!

Farewell to songwriter Tom T Hall, who wrote one of the most absolutely perfect “fuck you, you smug, highfaluttin’, morally super hypocrites” songs in history. I’m talking, of course, about “Harper Valley PTA”, which was a hit song on the country charts back in 1968, and snuck onto pop radio as well, I do believe. Always LOVED that song, ever since I first heard it at the tender age of 11. Ever hear it? Give it a spin. And after that, maybe raise a glass of your favorite beverage to ol’ Tom, and, extra points if it’s beer.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:05 AM PST - 35 comments

August 20

Serenity Now

Not-a-Linux distro review: SerenityOS is a Unix-y love letter to the '90s - "On the minus side, SerenityOS's browser threw an exception—on the plus side, that Crash Reporter is a thing of beauty!" [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:56 PM PST - 16 comments

[$Your_Favorite_Wrestlers] to AEW, confirmed!

CM Punk to AEW confirmed! [more inside]
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 10:12 PM PST - 11 comments

...swelled with love like two perfectly popped pans of Jiffy Pop

The 2021 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Winners, pre vio sly [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 7:20 PM PST - 16 comments

Tales of Haven Bay

Public radio series that parodies small town Alaska, produced by KCAW of Sitka, Alaska [more inside]
posted by Ideefixe at 6:26 PM PST - 5 comments

If you can't stand the heat, you can still stay in the kitchen.

How to Make Dinner Without Cooking Anything. (SLNYT)
posted by storybored at 5:48 PM PST - 81 comments

Bo Burnham vs. Jeff Bezos - Video Essay

2.5 Hr SLYT. This video essay discusses intimately how we interact with social media, memes, and how it influences society and politics.
posted by bbqturtle at 4:27 PM PST - 32 comments

The coolsie to Nazi pipeline

Melbourne's alternative music scene has been rocked by recent revelations that one of its number is a prominent far-right agitator. Alice McNamara, formerly of 2000s punk band The Spazzys and currently proprietor of children's music education business KiddyRock, was revealed to be active in anti-lockdown, neo-Nazi and white nationalist Telegram forums under the name “Mary Manson”, as well as producing bogus medical exemption certificates for anti-maskers. (TW: screenshots of hateful discussions.) [more inside]
posted by acb at 4:03 PM PST - 39 comments

Increasingly Strange Stories for an Increasingly Strange Year

It’s late summer 2021, and here’s another roundup of weird audio dramas! Since many of us are facing new isolation restrictions, here’s something disturbing to raise your spirits. Most of the series are audio dramas with paranormal elements, but anthologies, fantasy, and science fiction are included. This time, a rather startling number of shows featuring the smooth voice of Soren Narnia of Knifepoint Horror are included. [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:07 PM PST - 10 comments

"archival practices have not changed much in over 4,000 years"

Ebla, the Official Site of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Syria gives details about the excavation of Ebla, the capital of a bronze age empire in what is now northern Syria which flourished in the third millennium BCE. Archaeologist Paolo Matthiae first explored the Tell Mardikh mound in 1963, but the site didn't receive global attention until 1975, when the discovery of Ebla's state archives was announced, an ancient library with over seventeen thousand clay tablets, casting light on life in Ebla. Outside the Ebla website, besides Wikipedia, there is historian Trevor Bryce's short overview of the history of Ebla, an interview with Matthiae from 1978 by Tor Eigeland, and archivist Greg Bradsher's essay about the Ebla archive and how it compares to modern archives.
posted by Kattullus at 1:47 PM PST - 6 comments

Friday foldy fun

Learn how to make: a Froebel star (text) /\/\/\ a transforming star (text) /\/\/\ a modular bracelet (text) /\/\/\ monster corner bookmarks (text) [more inside]
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 1:10 PM PST - 7 comments

Chuck Close 1940 - 2021

Photorealist painter and printer Chuck Close died yesterday at the age of 81. One of the most prominent of the photorealistic painters of the late 60s and early 70s, Close painted immense, highly detailed canvas portraits from photos he would take of himself, his friends and acquaintances, such as Philip Glass. This career of portraiture has been ascribed to his having face blindness. A restless experimenter in techniques, before the end of the 70s he had exhibited work done in rubber stamps, silk tapestry, airbrush, mezzotint, and other media -- his website has a fascinating illustrated timeline of this range. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 12:05 PM PST - 23 comments

Image of water, deodorant, air freshener, cereal, crisps, shortbread…

UK grocer Sainsbury’s have digitized and uploaded their entire collection of store-brand packaging materials, mostly dating from the 1950s-1980s. [via @mathowie] [more inside]
posted by schmod at 11:57 AM PST - 12 comments

These data are not just excessively similar. They are impossibly similar

Evidence of Fraud in an Influential Field Experiment About Dishonesty is a blog post at Data Colada 🍹 where researchers uncovered dishonest data meddling in a PNAS-published paper about... dishonesty. [more inside]
posted by Monochrome at 9:56 AM PST - 39 comments

The Rise and Swift Fall of ‘Jeopardy’ Host Mike Richards

"From the moment of his announcement, Richards was a deflating choice. "His status as the show’s executive producer lent the sense that the months of host auditions had been rigged in his favor from the start. And his amiable blankness behind the podium suggested an empty sort of careerism that seemed to run counter to what “Jeopardy” is and does.... What Richards seemed to see in “Jeopardy,” a show he already ran, was an opportunity to put himself on camera above all else." [more inside]
posted by Neely O'Hara at 9:40 AM PST - 204 comments

Make your cat the centre of attention during family meals

Feline-friendly furniture now includes a dining table (for people) with a hole in the middle (more) for your cat to frequent. This joins the array of cat-centric domestic apparatus which includes cat trees, cat caves, window bubble pods, cat hammocks, a chaise lounge, an executive cat tree, an enchanted forest, and of course a tank. [No endorsement is given or implied. Other products are available. Your cat may reject any product bought for it.]
posted by Wordshore at 7:12 AM PST - 56 comments

August 19

Limber Up! It's Cartooning Workout Time!

The Center for Cartoon Studies (previously, previously, previously) is offering a free, self-directed One-Week Cartooning Workout eCourse. Just remember: "The awful comic you make is always going to be better than the perfect comic you never make."--Inky Solomon, CCS Legend [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:07 PM PST - 5 comments

The Shadow of the Crown

Falling Squirrel Games has just released The Vale: Shadow of the Crown, also available on It is also available for Xbox One, if you prefer to play on console. This is an audio action adventure game, meant to be enjoyable for blind and sighted players equally. [more inside]
posted by Alensin at 5:33 PM PST - 3 comments

no longer nsfw

Shortly after the news that OnlyFans is launching a SFW version of their app, the company (which has so far earned its founder Tim Stokeley a net worth in excess of $120 million) has stated they will no longer allow sexually explicit content on their main platform (Bloomberg link). [more inside]
posted by fight or flight at 11:59 AM PST - 131 comments

indie game dev burnout glitchless any% WR speedrun

Quintin Smith takes a look at how Roblox works.
posted by theodolite at 11:34 AM PST - 35 comments

Design so dreadful you’ll be scarred for life

By the end of episode two, your Changing Rooms bingo card will be full to overflowing. There are room dividers, MDF panelling and feature walls. There is “colour!” being used to create “zones!” There is pink used in a room whose owner hates pink. There is spray-painting, “customising” (making plain, acceptable things into ornate, crappy things), gold leaf, and sticking flooring to walls in the name of innovation. I could go on, but I care about you. The Guardian's Lucy Mangan reviews the latest season of Changing Rooms, a home decor show on Channel 4 in the UK.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:14 AM PST - 31 comments


CW: flashing throughout video An experiment in AI assisted video composition, starring the Storror parkour team. [via The Awesomer]
posted by chavenet at 9:06 AM PST - 6 comments

Never going back again

[Covid related] I, too, was extremely excited to see friends without the necessary, tortured conversations about exposures, testing, and local positivity rates. I, too, yearned to have a long, carefree meal at a restaurant and sit at a favorite bar. I was thrilled this summer to do those things and I did them happily and masklessly. But I also suspected all my excitement and planning and celebration was also papering over — or, at the very least forestalling — my ability to process the trauma of the last year and a half. SL Galaxy Brain Substack by Charlie Warzel.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:57 AM PST - 31 comments

Of Carts and Foxes and Treasures and Bees

On Tuesday, Nate Purkeypile (@NPurkeypile) shared a fun story about the development process of the now-famous Skyrim Intro. Inspired by this, yesterday, Joel Burgess (@JoelBurgess) shared another Skyrim development story, about foxes leading players to treasure. Both stories are treats.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:07 AM PST - 12 comments

August 18

The Girl Who Lived

Molly tried her best. When Harry had told them, Arthur had asked excitedly, "is this a Muggle thing?" and Hermione had hurried out a "no!" and a frantic history of gender diversity in the wizarding world.

"It's just that I'm a girl," Harry had said. and Arthur had nodded and asked her about how telephone booths worked. He would call her by the right pronouns until the day he died at the respectable old age of one hundred and thirty three, and he would make it seem easy.
posted by simmering octagon at 7:04 PM PST - 38 comments

Worth it for the fashion alone

An oral history of Adam Sandler, pickup basketball legend. [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero at 6:59 PM PST - 19 comments

Chocolate Box Art

Sure, maybe the Candy Wrapper Museum includes a McVitie's Penguin. But does it have an extraordinarily rare Cadbury Chocolate Box, illustrated by Arthur Rackham in 1933? Please enjoy the story of Luxury assortment: the British artists behind Cadbury's chocolate boxes.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:49 PM PST - 6 comments

Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts of Traal

The hide and seek skills of a two year old. (SL to a long and silly twitter image thread.)
posted by eotvos at 6:05 PM PST - 7 comments

Canadian companies quietly made sure CEOs still got their bonuses

"Millions of working Canadians saw their incomes devastated by the pandemic — but according to a new report, dozens of top executives saw their bonus formulas tweaked to make sure they didn’t suffer alongside the rank and file." (Archive link)
posted by clawsoon at 4:15 PM PST - 12 comments

#BamaRush, Explained

Panhellenic organizations discourage freshmen from sharing specifics on social media about their recruitment experience ... but showing off outfits for rush is just fine. "So, what does it take to get into one of these sororities? It did not formally desegregate until 2013, after the student newspaper reported that Black freshmen were still being denied bids during that year’s recruitment process. Since then, diversity among the chapters has increased, though not by much ... another barrier to sorority membership at Bama (and many, many other schools) is cost."
posted by geoff. at 4:12 PM PST - 32 comments

Simpson's Paradox

If you look at Covid data from Israel across all ages, vaccine efficacy against severe disease is 67.5%. But if you break it down by age it turns out to be significantly higher: for those under 50 it's 91.8%, and those over 50 it's 85.2%. What's going on? "Simpson’s paradox arises when there are 'lurking variables' that split data into multiple separate distributions." [more inside]
posted by russilwvong at 3:04 PM PST - 28 comments

These People Who Work From Home Have a Secret: They Have Two Jobs

“It’s 100% overwhelming, and my wife’s like, ‘How long can you do this?’ ” he says. But “every other Friday, when those paychecks drop, I am reinvigorated.” Holding two jobs isn’t illegal, says Richard Greenberg, an employment attorney with Jackson Lewis PC in New York. “It’s more of a contract issue. You’re jeopardizing your employment. There’s very few things that rise to criminal violations,” he says. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 1:45 PM PST - 67 comments

Socialism for Me But Not for Thee

The founder of socialist magazine Current Affairs, Nathan J. Robinson, has fired most of the staff for trying to start a worker co-op.
posted by PhineasGage at 12:44 PM PST - 81 comments

Mash Up Stir It Up MIX IT

gonna make banana bread [more inside]
posted by box at 12:26 PM PST - 10 comments

NPR's 50 best SF and Fantasy books of the decade

Let's find something new to read! NPR assembled a list of the best Science Fiction and Fantasy books of the last decade. See anything you like?
posted by PussKillian at 9:17 AM PST - 107 comments

Sean Lock (1963 - 2021)

English comedian Sean Lock has died of cancer at age 58. A stand up comedian and mainstay of British panel shows, he was also the winner of Carrot in a Box, and the Carrot in a Box Rematch.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 9:03 AM PST - 91 comments

The Challenge With Most Books is Getting Anyone to Read Them

For years, a mysterious figure has been stealing books before their release. Is it espionage? Revenge? Or a complete waste of time? ... “If you try to find financial and economic gain, it’s of course hard to see,” said Daniel Sandstrom, the literary director of a Swedish publisher hit many times by the thief. “But if the game is psychological, a kind of mastery or feeling of superiority, it’s easier to visualize. This is a business full of resentment as well, and in that sense, it becomes a good story.” from The Spine Collector by Reeves Wiedeman
posted by chavenet at 8:05 AM PST - 15 comments

Back to School in a Pandemic

I am once again sending my kids to school in the middle of a pandemic. We live in Iowa, a state that passed a law preventing schools from mandating masks. I don’t know the vaccination status of my kids’ teachers. Cases in Iowa are rising, and they are almost as bad as they were last August when school started. The state has a 50 percent vaccination rate. And in my county there is a 55 percent vaccination rate. Right now, the positivity rate in Linn County is 15 percent. Lyz Lenz writes about the powerlessness of parenting (not just during a pandemic) in the latest Men Yell at Me. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 7:47 AM PST - 96 comments

Downhill biking on an “Beyond Expert” trail in BC (SLYT)

Does what it says on the very scary tin via Laughing Squid
posted by Gorgik at 6:58 AM PST - 28 comments

August 17

Cats. Trees. Cat trees.

Cat trees. Reload for a new tree. Guaranteed to contain a cat tree. Not guaranteed to contain a cat. But sometimes: many cats! [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 1:27 PM PST - 53 comments

The Bittersweet Art of Felix Gonzalez-Torres

"Untitled" (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) by Felix Gonzalez-Torres - National Portrait Gallery video: "In this 'portrait' of his deceased partner, Ross Laycock, Gonzalez-Torres created a spill of candies that approximated Ross's weight (175 lbs.) when he was healthy. Viewers are invited to take away a candy until the mound gradually disappears; it is then replenished, and the cycle of life and death continues." More candy works by the artist.
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:12 PM PST - 19 comments

The latest from our friends at Boston Dynamics to haunt us!

Now they're multiplying.
posted by indianbadger1 at 11:53 AM PST - 73 comments

“Props to anyone who tries to be fashionable in ireland”

This is a thread of twitter responses with many examples of how Irish people will deliver devastating one liners to people trying to be stylish.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:25 AM PST - 82 comments

someone could do an entire doctoral dissertation on this

The Soviet Union is out of business and GORBY'S LOSS IS YOUR GAIN!!! [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 10:32 AM PST - 22 comments

Is Wingspan actually a game at all? Is it art?

How a Board Game About Birds Became a Surprise Blockbuster
posted by Mchelly at 10:12 AM PST - 38 comments

The fridge holds the bad secrets inside to spoil at me

Daniel Lavery considers the contents of his vegetable crisper.
posted by rogerroger at 8:55 AM PST - 61 comments

"What are the lyrical themes on Vadak?"

"The loose concept is we, like all living creatures, are chased by death in a woodland of time. We are wildlings and not hunters."

Interview with Tamás Kátai about Vadak (2021) (full album on youtube), the latest album of Thy Catafalque, perhaps the most prominent avant-garde metal band from Hungary. [more inside]
posted by kmt at 8:20 AM PST - 2 comments

In Ghana, they call them “obroni wawu” — dead white man’s clothes.

Dead white man's clothes: How fast fashion is turning parts of Ghana into toxic landfill (ABC News) – For decades, the West's unwanted fashion has made its way to used-clothing markets in Africa. Now it's fuelling an environmental catastrophe. [more inside]
posted by bitteschoen at 3:21 AM PST - 73 comments

August 16


Aaron Fletcher is a nomadic shepherd and activist in Southern Oregon. There's a new mini-documentary on youtube about his "Guerilla Grazing" lifestyle. [more inside]
posted by sibilatorix at 8:17 PM PST - 5 comments


Nagoya, in central Japan, has many playground slides shaped like Mt. Fuji. Twitter user @223playmount and others are documenting them. There's an online index, a book, and even fashion accessories.
posted by eotvos at 7:31 PM PST - 9 comments

The Honus Wagner T206

The Honus Wagner T206 is the sports card GOAT, and always will be. It sold recently for $6.6 million. Dan Hajducky and Tisha Thompson at give a short history of baseball card boom and bust and boom.
posted by goatdog at 4:07 PM PST - 8 comments

17 Crew, 2 Trucks, 24/7

What do you do with a blimp semi-rigid airship after it's done flying? (SLYT)
posted by backseatpilot at 4:07 PM PST - 23 comments

It’s not clear who exactly is throwing out all these bowling balls.

No, you can't recycle bowling balls. Bowling balls are made of polyurethane and liquid plasticizer with weighted cores made from polyester resin filled with varying amounts of calcium carbonate, barium sulfate, and glass microspheres. [more inside]
posted by forbiddencabinet at 4:02 PM PST - 41 comments

End of the line for Uber

Uber is a bezzle ("the magic interval when a confidence trickster knows he has the money he has appropriated but the victim does not yet understand that he has lost it"). Every bezzle ends.
posted by panglos at 3:54 PM PST - 109 comments

The day life changed in Kabul

The streets of Kabul were emptied of women on Monday, the first full day of Taliban rule across Afghanistan, as Taliban gunmen patrolled in cars seized by police, confiscated guns from security guards and urged shopkeepers and government employees back to work. [more inside]
posted by roolya_boolya at 3:29 PM PST - 32 comments

The bees have the skills of an architect

Aganetha Dyck reveals how she works with bees to create strange and wonderful art (CBC) "It's their ability to construct up, down, in three dimensions that interested me. They create the most beautiful environment that I've ever seen. I mean, it's just absolutely gorgeous. You have to be an artist to be able to do that." [more inside]
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 2:24 PM PST - 3 comments

Somebody needs parental guidance

This anti-littering PSA [SLYT] has played before every movie at the Byrd Theater in Richmond, VA since the early '80s. The audience recites every word along with it, and it may be the only thing that can truly unify this country.
posted by chinese_fashion at 12:26 PM PST - 30 comments

From Shitterton to Bell End, via Titty Ho

In memory of a friend, Paul Taylor is doing a slow (28mph maximum) charity road trip. He will start in Shitterton (“Please stop stealing our sign”)(“Us too!”), which lies in the Piddle Valley, and journey to Twatt, Cockpole Green, The Knob, Great Tosson, Butthole Lane, and other places. It's not clear if he will enjoy Cock Alley, journey over Cock Bridge or Ass Hill, or encounter Great Coxwell; alas, Y Farteg is not en-route, though Nempnett Thrubwell is possible. This is not unique; previously, two brothers visited Wetwang, Rimswell, Lickfold, Feltwell, Fanny Hands Lane, and other places. Related: “It's a pathetic obsession really”, says man who visited Wank Mountain, but no comment from the resident of 4 Kinnell Street. Random: Lower Swell is by the River Dikler.
posted by Wordshore at 11:54 AM PST - 42 comments

Palate to palette

To help celebrate Sweet Art week, I bring you...the Jelly Belly Bean Art Collection. "Each subject presents its own unique challenge, whether it is figuring out how to make a light saber look like it’s actually glowing, creating the illusion of transparency necessary for a Minion fart cloud, or deciding what beans to use to realistically describe a person’s skin tones," says artist Kristen Cumings.
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:54 AM PST - 6 comments

Billy’s Caricatures Literally Kidded Them to Death

Mocking the Klan by Eliya Smith [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 6:36 AM PST - 16 comments

August 15

AlphaFold2, RoseTTAFold, and the future of structural biology

Back in 2020, we discussed DeepMind's impressive advances in protein structure prediction, as evinced by their showing at CASP14. They've finally made good on their promise to publish their work on AlphaFold2! In the interim, though, David Baker's group at the University of Washington - perennially one of the top academic groups in the field - got impatient and re-engineered their own protein structure prediction approaches to come up with RoseTTAFold, which appears to be almost as good (and rather less computationally intensive). [more inside]
posted by ASF Tod und Schwerkraft at 8:30 PM PST - 11 comments

Dubai Is A Parody Of The 21st Century

Dubai Is A Parody Of The 21st Century : "The worst of urban planning and capitalism, plus some slavery for good measure. Welcome to Dubai, everyone."
posted by gen at 5:39 PM PST - 56 comments

Just wait until the summer when they let me out the house!

Rumors feat Cardi B is the first new Lizzo track in 2 years!
posted by hippybear at 12:22 PM PST - 26 comments

The homebuyer’s course said always look inside the house before buying

“A block that had once been home to more than 100 people was down to six who lived amid the ruins of another era… And then, for reasons that no one in Peoria could fathom, people from all over America began snapping them up.” (SLWaPo) [more inside]
posted by hwyengr at 9:22 AM PST - 45 comments

"I can't imagine growing up thinking the American dream was real"

F.D Signifier on Bo Burnham's Inside and "White Liberal Performative Art": White Habitus, Performative Wokeness and Existential Dread.
[auto-transcript only]
posted by simmering octagon at 9:20 AM PST - 37 comments

Canadian Federal Election

The writ has dropped. Or... whatever. Less that two years after Canada's last federal election (previously), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has decided to try converting his minority government into a majority in the middle of a pandemic. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 8:26 AM PST - 272 comments

How A “Smart City” Watches You

Whose Streets? Our Streets! 2020-21 “Smart City” Cautionary Trends & 10 Calls to Action to Protect and Promote Democracy. A thorough and well argued exploration of how 'Smart Cities' are eroding privacy, democracy, social justice and freedom.
posted by signal at 7:59 AM PST - 3 comments

“This is their best? Oh.”

Guardian: (on the £38/$53 McCarthy salad) “There are separate sections for chopped beetroot, skinned tomato, bacon minced to a paste, chicken breast with the texture of value-range cotton wool, cubes of sweaty, squeaky cheese, shredded egg and, on top, an avocado that’s been halfway through an egg slicer. Underneath is shredded romaine, including the gnarly hard bit at the centre. That displays serious commitment to gross profit, in all senses.” In which Jay Rayner's commitment to positive restaurant reviews during the pandemic comes to an abrupt end. (Current exchange rate: £1 UK = $1.39 US; previous by JR) [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 3:20 AM PST - 53 comments

August 14

Seeds. Close up. In pictures...

The Art Of Nature. For his photo series The Hidden Beauty of Seeds and Fruits, Biss immersed himself in the collections housed at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden , sifting through its 3,500 historical specimens. “I was stunned by the variety of designs that exist to disperse seeds. Some are truly ingenious,” he says, singling out the hairy-stemmed electric shock plant, “an innocent-looking seed pod until an animal (or human) decides to bite!” Some glorious images.
posted by IndelibleUnderpants at 11:03 PM PST - 4 comments

Space cake, fridge scat, and cow-shouting for SCIENCE!

Question: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done in the name of science? "Administered enemas made of raspberries to mice." (Twitter thread found via Nature Index)
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:12 PM PST - 18 comments

My heart is full of sound and light

Tralala Blip are a band of differently-abled musicians from northern NSW who have overcome a range of individual challenges to create a sonic universe together fuelled by their post-electro pop melodies and diarised lyrical poems. Their last album Eat My Codes If Your Light Falls was released in 2019 and is available on Apple, Amazon, Spotify and Youtube. Their single and official video Pub Talk, features band member and lyric writer, Lidian Dunbar. Enjoy.
posted by Thella at 6:11 PM PST - 2 comments

"We had no capacity or experience with some of our tasks"

How America Failed Afghanistan. "We checked the box when it came to saying that we had trained our partners, spun a rosy narrative of progress, and perhaps prioritized the safety and well-being of our troops over the mission of buttressing partner capacity. (When our Afghan partners shot at us, killing our comrades in the now infamous “green on blue” incidents, we tightened up our security procedures but didn’t address the hard questions of why they were shooting at us in the first place.) We didn’t send the right people, prepare them well, or reward them afterward. We rotated strangers on tours of up to a year and expected them to build relationships, then replaced them. We were overly optimistic and largely made things up as we went along. We didn’t like oversight or tough questions from Washington, and no one really bothered to hold us accountable anyway." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 5:03 PM PST - 255 comments


Strangejuice is a multi instrumentalist and video artist. The ZeFrank of of YouTube indie.
- Fishing Line 1000 Miles Deep (Official Music Video) is a later track
- Calling Luci is the track that made all the indie collection downloads.
posted by Buntix at 3:53 PM PST - 1 comment

an itsy bitsy problem

Spider Bridge - "There is a beautiful new bridge in Ottawa, Canada. It's lit up at night, so it's a stunning way to cross this canal and see a gorgeous sunset at the same time. But there's a wee problem." (via)
posted by kliuless at 2:56 PM PST - 29 comments

Floating Origami

Floating origami Floating Micro-Origami that Magically Unfolds in Water
posted by kathrynm at 2:12 PM PST - 6 comments

Evening Primrose

Stephen Sondheim is mostly known as a musical theater composer, but he did do one project for television -- Evening Primrose [Wikipedia]. A musical Twilight Zone-is story in which Norman Bates falls in love with Liesl Von Trapp while living in a department store, the story is full of outdated gender roles, but some really beautiful songs. It's available on YouTube. [50m]
posted by hippybear at 11:30 AM PST - 9 comments

“Rewrite It Just Enough to Avoid Copyright Infringement”

The Co-Founder Of Snopes Wrote Dozens Of Plagiarized Articles For The Fact-Checking Site [BuzzFeed] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 9:50 AM PST - 34 comments

What I Learned From Watching Every Sport At The Tokyo Olympics

[H]ere's the problem and the shocking discovery: Each of these sports is the best sport in the Olympics. Some are the most beautiful, some are the most surprising, some have the most tremendous life lessons lurking just under the surface, and some are simply stunning examples of people who do extraordinarily hard things almost unimaginably well. I cried at some, I smiled at most, and I learned a lot. So here they are, from Archery to Wrestling: all the best sports in the Olympics. [Mefi's own Linda Holmes on All Things Considered]
posted by ellieBOA at 6:35 AM PST - 31 comments

Goodreads’ problem with extortion scams and review bombing

How Extortion Scams and Review Bombing Trolls Turned Goodreads Into Many Authors’ Worst Nightmare (Time) Scammers and cyberstalkers are increasingly using the Goodreads platform to extort authors with threats of “review bombing” their work–and they are frequently targeting authors from marginalized communities who have spoken out on topics ranging from controversies within the industry to larger social issues on social media.
posted by bitteschoen at 3:57 AM PST - 80 comments

The Gospel of Philip K. Dick & thepostarchive

The Gospel of Phillip K. Dick from thepostarchive, the latter of which is an incredible and ongoing labor of love compiled by a self described ''NB PoC trying archivist collecting between and through institutions." [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 1:06 AM PST - 4 comments

August 13

Just a Girl

An essay about Briseis's story, and yours. The academic part of your brain knows that no text is about one thing. The Iliad is about a million things, but for you, right now, it’s really just a story about how women have to pay terrible prices for what men want. (cw: sexual assault)
posted by Fish, fish, are you doing your duty? at 10:32 PM PST - 9 comments

Is Taiwan Next?

"Nancy had given up her career to help Hong Kongers in exile. She wanted to protect Taiwan’s own nascent democracy, but she wasn’t sure where that had really gotten her. Still, she was happy she had." In Taipei, young people watched as the Hong Kong protests were brutally extinguished. Now they wonder what’s in their future. [NYT]
posted by blue shadows at 10:15 PM PST - 19 comments

Put this Covid vaccine up your nose

According to an article published in Science magazine in July, almost 100 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are currently in clinical trials in various places around the world, but only seven are are delivered intranasally. Intranasal vaccines have a potential to do more to protect areas of infection in the nasal passages and upper airways. There may be issues effectiveness for people who have prior exposure to viruses the vaccines are based on.
posted by larrybob at 9:54 PM PST - 5 comments

The Art, Science, and Mystery of Sleep

Sleep schedule all jacked up*? Stuck at home? Explore--virtually--the American Visionary Art Museum's current exhibit, The Science and Mystery of Sleep (alt YT). [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:05 PM PST - 3 comments

Don't ask us to attend, 'cause we're not all there.

If you've ever wondered what the bit players in Kids in the Hall would do if they were given their own series, there's a six episode answer that's hard to buy but is now on youtube [note: includes some things that haven't aged well, including using non-obvious gender representation as a punchline.]
posted by eotvos at 6:44 PM PST - 11 comments

"We are all Martians"

Natalija Majsova (06/09/2020, Strelka Mag; also in a video lecture for the Canadian Centre for Architecture), "Soviet Sci-Fi Film and Different Modalities of Future Ecosystems": "Irina Povolotskaia's 1967 debut The Mysterious Wall [75 mins.] pioneered in offering an alternative approach. This production, stylistically influenced by the French New Wave, ... used the overarching theme of encountering outer space to interrogate the human capacity to ever really engage with otherness, such as aliens. In this case, the aliens take on the form of a mysterious wall that appears at regular intervals in the nowhere of the taiga." Previously mentioned in #WomenMakeSF.
posted by Wobbuffet at 3:29 PM PST - 3 comments

The music of the world's closing subway doors

"Ted Green has been collecting the sounds and sights of transit systems for more than a decade... the telltale chimes — beeps, ding-dongs, jingles and arpeggios that warn riders around the world to stand clear." This SLNYT multimedia piece lets you hear Toronto's "calming downward arpeggio," Rio's "homage to bossa nova," and Paris' "sustained chime," while explaining the backstories behind these sounds that play background to so many urban lives.
posted by hungrytiger at 2:24 PM PST - 22 comments

It’s when the darkness rolls away.

Nanci Griffith has passed, age 68. Such sad news. I had the privilege and joy to see her twice, and her cover of Kate Wolf’s Across the Great Divide has helped me through every dark patch of life I’ve encountered. It really was impossible to see her perform and not feel like some of your hope and decency had been renewed. Earlier this year, she was inducted into the Texas Songwriters Hall of Fame. Rest in harmony and power, dear lady.
posted by Silvery Fish at 2:15 PM PST - 49 comments

It's been a crazy week in America. Let's find out what happened!

Maybe you didn't know you needed a ribbon and sparkle-suit clad Black woman who can explain why using police as debt collectors leads to the killing of Black people in one breath, then bust out a retro R&B jam for the vaccinated in the next. But The Amber Ruffin Show is the special blend of silly and serious we all needed. Launched during the pandemic, the Emmy-nominated show returns on Peacock tonight with its first-ever live studio audience. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:46 PM PST - 10 comments

“When I grow up, I want to be like you. No kids and two dogs"

"In a place where there were so few acceptable ways to be a woman, she modeled something different, vibrant, and fulfilled."
posted by Lycaste at 10:20 AM PST - 24 comments

August 12

The Preferred Nomenclature

Fifteen years ago, biologist and Coen brothers fan Ingi Agnarsson christened two newly-discovered spiders Anelosimus dude and Anelosimus thebiglebowski (includes a spider photo). Why? Most spiders will be aggressive toward their own, but for these two dudes, "aggression, towards kin, will not stand." Naming new scientific discoveries is fun. Until it isn't. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:03 PM PST - 29 comments

unhygienic and impolite toward the athlete

The mayor of Nagoya has apologized for biting softball player Miu Goto's Olympic gold medal; she will get a new one.
posted by brainwane at 7:05 PM PST - 28 comments

The Big Death

New study says humans killed Neanderthals by having sex with them. A rare blood disorder discovered in Neanderthal babies was likely the result of breeding with humans, according to a new study. [...] This disorder would have made it difficult for the affected generations to reproduce — cutting their bloodline short. (The Hill, July 28, 2021) The paper: Blood groups of Neandertals and Denisova decrypted, PLoS ONE [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:57 PM PST - 34 comments

What's a conspiracy theory that you 1,000% believe in?

TikTok user Akintoye has a message about vaccines. (Single-link TikTok video; also available on Twitter.)
posted by escape from the potato planet at 3:59 PM PST - 37 comments

An organizing motto for their grief

After Bobby McIlvaine died on September 11, 2001, his family's grief ravelled in many different ways. In a sensitive, and often surprising, account, Jennifer Senior traces the tangled threads to their unexpected destinations in the present.
posted by Rumple at 1:58 PM PST - 15 comments

"You'll thank me someday ..."

Some patients have found themselves suddenly treated like criminals because of their dogs' medications, their past sexual abuse, and seeing doctors a long way away from their house. Why?
"A sweeping drug addiction risk algorithm has become central to how the US handles the opioid crisis. It may only be making the crisis worse."
posted by Countess Elena at 9:54 AM PST - 65 comments

"Shakespeare played [the ghost]'s the toughest part of the play."

Orson Welles, Peter O'Toole and Ernest Milton discuss playing, staging, directing and interpreting Hamlet. (SLYT)
posted by sardonyx at 9:26 AM PST - 27 comments

TV, emphasis on the 𝓣

Doctor Who wasn't the only British TV series to start out educational and become its own thing. There's a reason 1985's Wonders in Letterland was later renamed Trouble with T-Bag. The following seasons (bar the last) followed a modified formula revolving around the show's breakout characters - the witch-like T-Bags (Tallulah Bag and later her sister and successor Tabitha) and their young assistant T-Shirt enacting a plan that and only be stopped by artifacts (or pieces of one) scattered across history and/or folklore, prompting a girl's journey through existence. The complete seasons and specials on YouTube: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 9
posted by BiggerJ at 5:33 AM PST - 9 comments

August 11

Summer of Soul

In 1969 Harlem, a Music Festival Stuns [ungated link] - "Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, Mavis Staples and others shine in a documentary about the Harlem Cultural Festival from Questlove." (via) [1,2,3; fanfare] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 10:10 PM PST - 37 comments

Mechanisms at Play: The Audio-Kinetic Sculptures of George Rhoads

May I interest you in a moment of mechanical joy? George Rhoads, the man who designed delightful kinetic sculptures made of twists and turns and gears and track, died on July 9, 2021. His audio-kinetic ball machines can be found across the United States, from the New York Port Authority (42nd Street Ballroom; YT), to the Radys Children's Hospital in San Diego, California, and beyond. He spoke about his life's work in an interview in 2015. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:55 PM PST - 19 comments

Ultraprocessed Foods Now 2/3 of Calories in Children and Teen's Diets

Two-thirds of children’s calories are now coming from “ultraprocessed” junk food and sweets. Researchers from Tufts University say these foods have a link to diabetes, obesity, and other serious medical conditions, including cancer.
posted by theora55 at 11:30 AM PST - 193 comments

A question of guts and brains

Fecal transplants reverse signs of brain aging in mice (Science Magazine) – A new study published in Nature Aging shows a transplant of gut microbes, in the form of feces, from young mice to old ones can turn back the clock on the aging brain. [more inside]
posted by bitteschoen at 9:17 AM PST - 73 comments

Frank Herbert heard "shows within shows" and got excited

Do you like fake movies and shows that only exist within the fiction of real movies and shows? Then you will enjoy Nestflix, a catalogue of metafictional entertainment from Lynn Fisher.
posted by cortex at 9:06 AM PST - 102 comments

Beyoncé's Evolution

After more than two decades in the spotlight, Beyoncé has become much more than a pop icon. She’s a cultural force who has routinely defied expectations and transformed the way we understand the power of art to change how we see ourselves and each other. But at 40, she feels like she’s just scratched the surface. [Harper's Bazaar]
posted by ellieBOA at 8:17 AM PST - 11 comments

Leaping squirrels!

Parkour is one of their many feats of agility (from UC Berkeley/Berkeley News): Their claws are so failproof, Hunt said, that none of the squirrels ever fell, despite wobbly leaps and over- or undershot landings.. [more inside]
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 6:34 AM PST - 17 comments

Scooter theft success story

"My scooter was stolen last week. Unknown to the thief, I hid two Airtags inside it." Dan Guido, CEO of Trail of Bits, a digital security company, documents the steps he took to get his stolen scooter back. Threadreader.
posted by zardoz at 3:30 AM PST - 47 comments

Let there be light

Physicists Detect Strongest Evidence Yet of Matter Generated by Collisions of Light. If you smash some photons together with enough energy you get matter!!!! Go figure.
posted by zengargoyle at 12:50 AM PST - 19 comments

A[BillionBillionBillion]undant Prochlorococcus

Penny Chisholm won the 2019 Crafoord Prize for her 1985 discovery of the most abundant living thing on the blue dot. Obligatory TED talk. [more inside]
posted by BobTheScientist at 12:14 AM PST - 3 comments

August 10

Liquid Oxygen is Magnetic

Liquid Oxygen is Magnetic (SLYT)
posted by jamjam at 10:21 PM PST - 17 comments

And just like the spokes of a wheel you'll spin 'round with the rest

You may know Stan Ridgway from Wall of Voodoo’s “Mexican Radio,” his band’s breakout hit from 1983, in which his face appears in a pot of baked beans*. You may know Stan from his collaboration with Stewart Copeland, “Don’t Box Me In,”* on the soundtrack to the 1983 Francis Ford Coppola movie “Rumblefish.” You may know Stan from “Camouflage,” a hit outside the US, from his first solo album. You want more links? Come on down! [more inside]
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 8:54 PM PST - 37 comments

Color Your Worlds

Sharpen your Cosmic Latte colored pencil and explore the universe with the Exoplanet Travel Bureau Coloring Book. (Bonus: NASA coloring pages for kids.)
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:51 PM PST - 4 comments

Rat Tickling

Scientist Tickle Rats for Science (SLNYT). [more inside]
posted by kathrynm at 3:20 PM PST - 18 comments

Man with a Movie Camera - Spectacular 1929 silent movie by Dziga Vertov

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention. (SLYT) "It made explicit and poetic the astonishing gift the cinema made possible, of arranging what we see, ordering it, imposing a rhythm and language on it, and transcending it." ~~ Roger Ebert [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 3:05 PM PST - 11 comments

First new carnivorous plant identified by botanists in 20 years

“What’s particularly unique about this carnivorous plant is that it traps insects near its insect-pollinated flowers,” said lead author Dr. Qianshi Lin, a PhD student at UBC botany. “On the surface, this seems like a conflict between carnivory and pollination because you don’t want to kill the insects that are helping you reproduce.”
posted by sardonyx at 1:43 PM PST - 23 comments

"sperm book"

Scientists mail freeze-dried mouse sperm on a postcard (Science Daily): Researchers in Japan have developed a way to freeze dry sperm on a plastic sheet in weighing paper so that samples can withstand being mailed via postcard. This method allows for mouse sperm to be transported easily, inexpensively, and without the risk of glass cases breaking. Sperm-on-a-Postcard Breakthrough Opens Door to Massive 'Sperm Books' (Vice): One of the scientists even sent a festive “Happy New Year” card (image) to a colleague, with mouse sperm as an extra token of good luck. “In addition, since New Year's greeting cards are used to write one's hopes for the next year, we conducted the New Year's greeting card mailing experiment in the hope that it would be a good year, i.e., that we would be able to successfully mail sperm and publish a paper,” [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 9:04 AM PST - 58 comments

animation work that's difficult to match

Hey, here's seven silent minutes of brief, clever stop-motion vignettes using wooden matches.
posted by cortex at 8:45 AM PST - 21 comments

"overlapping Earths along whose linking axis a person can somehow move"

In 1977 at a science fiction convention in Metz, France, Philip K. Dick delivered a lecture about his concept of orthogonal time titled "If You Find This World Bad You Should See Some of the Others". The audience was described as leaving the auditorium looking like they'd been hit with a hammer. The event was filmed, and you can see the whole thing complete with French interpretation (except for a sentence or two at the end) or a version with the translator cut out (and missing a bit of the intro). Or you can read the longer, unexpurgated essay online. On an episode of their podcast Weird Studies, J. F. Martel and Phil Ford put the lecture in context of Dick's life, and larger currents of thought. Finally, a comparatively normal interview with Dick was filmed in Metz (transcript here).
posted by Kattullus at 8:36 AM PST - 27 comments

‘They sent a thank you note and $5,000 – the movie made $1bn’

Marvel and DC face backlash over pay (The Guardian) – As the comics giants make billions from their storylines and characters, writers and artists are speaking out about their struggles for fair payment [more inside]
posted by bitteschoen at 8:16 AM PST - 35 comments

How 'The Karate Kid' Ruined The Modern World

"We have a vague idea in our head of the "price" of certain accomplishments, how difficult it should be to get a degree, or succeed at a job, or stay in shape, or raise a kid, or build a house. And that vague idea is almost always catastrophically wrong."
posted by warriorqueen at 7:57 AM PST - 84 comments

Statecraft needs stagecraft. The sites of landmark diplomacy

The Rooms Where It Happened Theatres are physical structures. Creative works – plays, operas, concerts, dance – make their home in them for a brief moment in time. Then they disappear. The building remains, but only memories linger. The spaces in which landmark diplomatic events take place have much in common with theatres. Leaders take center stage and hold the fates of nations in their hands. Yet these public spaces brim over with energy and activity backstage – as well in the spotlights.
posted by gusottertrout at 3:39 AM PST - 6 comments

"Right here, right now. This is history"

“This is history,” Noel told the crowd… “I thought it was Knebworth,” replied Liam. On August 10, 1996, Oasis played the first of two shows at Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire, to a combined total of 250,000 people.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 12:27 AM PST - 10 comments

August 9

Gonna Make You Sweat

Sure, that piece of technical gear breathes, wicks, or insulates. But how do garment and gear manufacturers back up those claims? By testing the pieces on a sweating thermal manikin (YT). Meet Newton, Liz, and Baby Ruth, several members of a growing family (.pdf, see Table 2) working to keep firefighters, bomb disposal experts, and soldiers safer, and performance gear users more comfortable. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:36 PM PST - 15 comments

Anti-Racist Graphics Research (SIGGRAPH 2021)

Theodore Kim's SIGGRAPH 2021 keynote on anti-racist graphics research: Computer graphics research has a race problem. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by haemanu at 5:52 PM PST - 14 comments

Making Photography in a Surveillance State

Last summer’s uprisings were likely the most photographed in history , with not only mainstream press in attendance, but near-every attendee equipped with their own networked camera, live-streaming and hashtagging the protests, creating layers upon layers of unquantifiable documentation. The rampant circulation of these images—often shared in real-time— propelled the movement on and offline, allowing the summer’s events to swell into a global uprising. When these images were quickly co-opted by the state, with law enforcement using them to retaliate against BLM activists, photographers online began to employ a variety of visual answers to the problem of privacy, blotting out the faces of protestors with digital ink.
posted by klangklangston at 12:38 PM PST - 9 comments

"... the sort of things that alter your soul."

For many of us who teach, "Teaching during the pandemic has been an exercise in balancing the utterly mundane with the profoundly traumatic—the sort of things that alter your soul." Sarah E. Smith responds to her student evaluations. [content warning: suicide]
posted by pleasant_confusion at 11:26 AM PST - 38 comments

45 minutes of Funky Old Japanese Soundtracks to chill out to

45 minutes of various funky old japanese soundtracks, samples, breaks, and beats. [more inside]
posted by Slinga at 11:20 AM PST - 13 comments

Voice Above Water

"Voice Above Water is the story of a 90-year-old Balinese fisherman who can no longer fish because of the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean, instead he collects trash in hopes of being able to fish again. The story is a glimpse into how one human is using his resources to make a difference and a reminder that if we all play our part we can accomplish something much greater than ourselves." [via]
posted by dhruva at 11:20 AM PST - 10 comments

Americans live on 30 mph streets, not on the set of Fast and Furious.

What if car companies were banned from boasting their trucks can “conquer,” “intimidate” and “thrill”? [more inside]
posted by aniola at 11:02 AM PST - 133 comments

Don't let it be forgot

So... you're a fan of obscure, not-very-successful SF TV series, huh? Never mind your Star Treks, your Farscapes, even your Red Dwarves or Blake's Sevens, we're talking about series that are so lost to time and syndication that they sound like parodies of the space opera genre. Well, have you ever even heard of, let alone seen, Excalibur? Ran for two seasons on the BBC in the mid-seventies, ran for two seasons, combined Arthurian myth with Crowleyan mysticism, and was lost forever when the BBC, as was its custom, erased the videotapes to reuse them. Ring a bell? (Difficulty level: never actually existed.) [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:02 AM PST - 63 comments

IPCC's sixth assessment on Climate Change is out

Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis.
The Guardian: "IPCC report’s verdict on climate crimes of humanity: guilty as hell"
New York Times: "Even if nations started sharply cutting emissions today, total global warming is likely to rise around 1.5 degrees Celsius within the next two decades, a hotter future that is now essentially locked in." (archive).
Time: "'Widespread and Severe.' The climate crisis Is here, but there’s still time to limit the damage."
posted by simmering octagon at 8:26 AM PST - 65 comments

Making a list, checking it twice

Hundreds of Ways to Get S#!+ Done—and We Still Don’t : "The question is, why? Not just why it’s so hard to make a to-do app that works, but why people often feel so distraught by their hunt for the perfect organizational system. I’ve written about software for years, and I can tell you that people often have surprisingly deep feelings about their apps. But rarely is a category of software linked to such vistas of despair." By Clive Thompson in Wired.
posted by carolr at 7:54 AM PST - 42 comments

When a family meal means something else

Baby sea stars may look innocent and adorable, but they're teensy little cannibals and eat their own siblings for their own survival, according to a new study. Two researchers discovered this behavior among baby Forbes' sea stars (Asterias forbesi) by accident. They were originally trying to understand how baby sea stars reacted when introduced to ferocious crab predators in the lab. "But they all started eating each other before we even introduced the crabs. So we had to scrap that experiment," Jon Allen, associate professor in William & Mary's Department of Biology, said in a statement. So Allen and his team shifted gears to observe this previously unknown phenomenon among the baby sea stars. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 7:30 AM PST - 9 comments

Camp Halen

Vank Walen - "Your Jumpin' Heart" (SLYT). Van Halen/Hank Williams Jr. mash-up (via b3ta)
posted by Kosmob0t at 5:44 AM PST - 17 comments

"start with questions of maleness and masculinity and go on from there"

In 2015, seven men discussed navigating masculinity in a roundtable discussion for the WisCon Chronicles (WisCon is a feminist scifi/fantasy convention they attend). "For me, my own maleness feels like an axiom, a defining property that I can’t prove or justify with analysis — and yet most of the traits that I associate with masculinity are things I’m uncomfortable with, whether or not I see those traits in myself." Participants included scifi/fantasy authors Na’amen Gobert Tilahun, David Moles, Jim Hines, and Benjamin Rosenbaum (conversation facilitated by Mary Anne Mohanraj). [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 3:26 AM PST - 4 comments

August 8

The Misconduct of American Shoppers

Amanda Mull's Atlantic article traces the rise of an American class identity system by another name. The message that money can buy you status, which can all too easily be conflated with superiority or success, has long been reinforced in the U.S. when businesses and organizations offer exclusive access for a fee, special seating in a different class for a higher rate and gifts in exchange for higher value "membership." Customer service, client relationships, member experiences and the emphasis on consumers by both business and government alike gets increasingly ugly, however, in a pandemic-ravaged economy where nearly 80% of us work in the service sector, and rather than recognize that service workers are probably more like us than not — we throw a fit. [more inside]
posted by Violet Blue at 7:18 PM PST - 102 comments

Never try to hold lava in your hands, especially not in the real world.

A handy guide to the rocks and minerals of Minecraft. (SL labor of love from Jolyon Ralph of, "the world's largest open database of minerals, rocks, meteorites and the localities they come from.")
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:46 PM PST - 11 comments

Let Me Get with You Next

Disney alum (slwiki) Olivia Holt has been hanging around the pop and dance charts, amassing a small collection (slyt) of decent-enough, non-cringe pop that sometimes gets you movin'. Her latest - Next - comes with a clip filmed (by Alex Nazari) around a mansion - and it's a delight! [more inside]
posted by kfholy at 12:59 PM PST - 2 comments

No limbs, no problem

Paralympic Skateboarding seems to defy physics.
posted by jumanjinight at 3:57 AM PST - 7 comments

iCloud Photo uploads approved: no material Thinks Different

This week, Apple announced and then explained (pdf) the measures they're taking to protect children (so: trigger warning) from grooming and to stop abusers from storing images of child sexual abuse in iCloud Photo Storage. Daring Fireball's Jon Gruber seems to have a balanced unpacking of the situation. The change is coming to iOS 15, with opt-in parental controls on messaging within family accounts and for uploads to iCloud Photo Storage. It is restricted to the USA for now -- among the questions raised are whether another state could insist that other material to be flagged for "Thinks Different" content. [more inside]
posted by k3ninho at 3:28 AM PST - 95 comments


The woman who rifles through New York’s garbage – exposing the city’s excesses (The Guardian) – Anna Sacks documents her ‘trash walks’ on social media, shining a light on the everyday shame and indignity of producing and living with so much waste
posted by bitteschoen at 3:27 AM PST - 43 comments

Themes, dreams and schemes - We're gonna need more ice!

Over 100 episodes broadcast between 2006 and 2009, Bob Dylan hosted "Theme Time Radio Hour". After a hiatus of 12 years ("I mean, does anybody even still have a radio? Some folks might even be listening on a smart toaster."), a new episode emerged in 2020: Whiskey (playlist). [more inside]
posted by rongorongo at 1:30 AM PST - 13 comments

August 7

Conservative Principles in North Dakota are Real

How to choose between Property Rights and Big Business? Western North Dakota is currently going through an Industrial Revolution thanks to the oil and gas industry. But the rights of property holders might be getting in the way of extractive business. Between the seeming inability to safely deal with the saltwater byproducts of fracking and because of an interesting little quirk of mineral rights law there is a division growing in the conservative political minds of North Dakota. Get some popcorn because the show is going to be real interesting and divorced from much of what the blue might think of as reality.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 10:08 PM PST - 25 comments

Last chance for US climate legislation

The home stretch. It’s time to pay attention, call your members of Congress, and mobilize your networks. Crunch time: this is America's last chance at serious climate policy for a decade. It's going to be a clean energy standard & clean energy tax credits, or nothing. David Roberts explains the climate policy in the upcoming reconciliation bill, which needs all 50 Democratic votes to get past the US Senate. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong at 4:53 PM PST - 20 comments

Black Romantic and direct sales art in the Black community

Image Conscious: Jasmine Sanders on the Black Romantic “My cousin worked for Artistic Impressions,” she says. “I saw a painting she had and liked it, so that’s how I got started.” The painting, titled The Lord’s Blessing, is a textured oil-on-canvas by the American artist Mobassi. A mother and infant appear in profile, both a deep, sumptuous brown, their features faintly drawn. The pair are conjoined by a crescent of glitter, gold, and cream paint, the maternal bond made tactile and flashily literal. The first piece of art my aunt ever purchased for herself, Mobassi’s canvas hangs in her living room still.
posted by klangklangston at 4:00 PM PST - 3 comments


What Do You Do With A Billion Grams Of Surplus Weed? Cannabis legalization was supposed to be a licence to print money. Three years on, nobody is turning a profit
posted by hoodrich at 3:41 PM PST - 63 comments

A bit of Company for the weekend

Stephen Sondheim had been successful (and not) on Broadway for over a decade before Company [Wikipedia]. In a lot of ways, it redefined "musical", being less about a straightforward plot and more about emotional honesty and development. One major (and majorly entertaining) performance was a 2011 New York Philharmonic concert production [2h25m], with Neal Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, and Patti LuPone (amongst others). But, if you like comparison/contrast studies, there are others! [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 2:01 PM PST - 13 comments

We just need more hills

the world's largest electric vehicle, a 110-ton dump truck, to haul lime and marl off the side of a mountain to a cement factory. Perhaps best of all, it consumes no energy
posted by sammyo at 12:57 PM PST - 34 comments

Stones speak and ashes live

An overview of archaeological investigation into pre-Neolithic use of grains: "Well before people domesticated crops, they were grinding grains for hearty stews and other starchy dishes." Lots of different archaeologists, many of them experimental archaeologists, and their recent insights into early diet. Links to all the scholarly articles at the bottom.
posted by clew at 12:04 PM PST - 8 comments

Heavy Metal on (Really) Heavy Metal

Mötorhead’s classic “Ace of Spades”, played on some really big bells. (SLYT) Lemmy would be proud, I’m sure. Also notable: look at how the carillon is pounding the keys with his fists!
posted by snortasprocket at 11:09 AM PST - 15 comments

It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sunshiny day

To try to mitigate the widespread fears and pessimism about the future, Wired co-founder and lifelong techno-optimist Kevin Kelly (earlier) makes his Case for Optimism.
There are two important sets of reasons why you should be optimistic right now. One is the general case for optimism at any time. The second reason is a handful of forces at work in the world that make specific cases for optimism at this particular time, in 2021.
[more inside]
posted by PhineasGage at 8:42 AM PST - 69 comments

The Best Defense Has Been Solidarity, Not Bullets

For nearly nine months, Tenacious Unicorn Ranch, a safe haven for trans and queer Coloradans, faced violent threats from right-wing extremists. Until, that is, they turned to their local anarchists for help. from Alt-Right Coloradans Went to War with an Alpaca Farm — And the Farm Won [from the revitalized Mel Magazine]
posted by chavenet at 7:41 AM PST - 18 comments

August 6

The one with the helmet

"Hello, ground. It sounds weird, but there's something to that mindset where you're just saying hello to everything." Skateboarder Andy Anderson makes friends with everyone (and everything).
posted by clawsoon at 8:35 PM PST - 11 comments

"Technology is a tremendous liberator, it blows up power structures."

Bog Bog, The Electronic Ladyland Mixtape (link goes to SoundCloud; Bandcamp) is a 2016 mixtape by anonymous French music collective Arandel featuring 55 tracks by 35 women pioneers of electronic music. Track listing within: [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:30 PM PST - 8 comments

Accessing the Hearthstone

A programmer who goes by the alias of GuideDev has posted Hearthstone Access, a mod to allow blind people using screen readers to play some of the single-player content in the famous free-to-play card game. [more inside]
posted by Alensin at 5:11 PM PST - 4 comments

Pharmaceutical firms: our for-profit public health agencies

Pfizer and Moderna just raised prices for their COVID vaccines in the EU. And they're still not producing enough vaccines to go around. As Matt Stoller details, the Biden administration was supposed to break the vaccine monopoly in order to make it possible for factories globally to produce the vaccine and pay royalties to Pfizer and Moderna. Spoiler: they did not. Luckily for developing nations, and just like PPE and other needed items, China and Russia are stepping in with their vaccines to deliver what the West can't. [more inside]
posted by rednikki at 4:55 PM PST - 26 comments

high-dimensional vector space: the verbal frontier

Oh, you're a big fan of semantic dissociation, huh? Then name ten unrelated nouns.
posted by cortex at 4:11 PM PST - 175 comments

Sunshine and Ravioli (MACARONI)

The Dogs at Daycare and their ✨Problems✨ -🐕- Part 2 -🐩- when it rains, it pours 🐶🦴 [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 11:06 AM PST - 11 comments

40 albums, 1 year, & Mike Townsend hit a Grand Slam

It's been quite the year for blaseball fans, going from a scrappy "566 votes opens the Forbidden Book" to a story finale that abolishes the concept of money. But there'll be enough of that another time. Last year Mike Townsend is a Disappointment was the hot new bop. Let's check in on where the Seattle Garages have gone since being called "the biggest punk rock opera since Zen Arcade" by Bandcamp Editorial. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 9:23 AM PST - 16 comments

August 5

To err is human. To forgive, divine.

GamerGaters inundated her with death threats. Now some are apologizing — and she forgives them. “Over 100 Gamergaters have written me over the year asking for forgiveness, and I’ve thanked them and forgiven them every single time,” she wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “If I can understand people can grow past their worst moments, I think the rest of us can too.”
posted by panglos at 9:13 PM PST - 132 comments

a heart pump is a life-sustaining medical device

Thousands of Patients Were Implanted With Heart Pumps That the FDA Knew Could Be Dangerous. (ProPublica, Aug. 5, 2021) As HeartWare and Medtronic [which acquired HeartWare in 2016] failed inspection after inspection and reports of device-related deaths piled up, the FDA relied on the device makers to fix the problems voluntarily rather than compelling them to do so. The HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device [HVAD] was implanted into more than 19,000 patients, the majority of whom got it after the FDA found in 2014 that the device didn’t meet federal standards. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:21 PM PST - 20 comments

Patti, Joni, Björk, Jim, Billie, Hank, Don, Bonnie, Harry, Johnny

Which Singers Have the Biggest Vocabularies? [Word Tips] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:54 PM PST - 67 comments

PieceWork Magazine

PieceWork Magazine "celebrates the rich history of needlework and makers from around the globe". [more inside]
posted by paduasoy at 1:42 PM PST - 8 comments


Alien Dreams: An Emerging Art Scene. In recent months there has been a bit of an explosion in the AI generated art scene. Ever since OpenAI released the weights and code for their CLIP model, various hackers, artists, researchers, and deep learning enthusiasts have figured out how to utilize CLIP as a an effective “natural language steering wheel” for various generative models, allowing artists to create all sorts of interesting visual art merely by inputting some text – a caption, a poem, a lyric, a word – to one of these models.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:54 PM PST - 47 comments

California Dreaming, Nightmare Edition

Surrounded by fires, parched by drought, and shut down by the pandemic – residents of California’s scenic South Lake Tahoe thought they’d endured everything. That was until this week, when the US Forest Service announced it was closing several popular sites after discovering bubonic plague in the chipmunk population. The Guardian's Erin McCormick reports on something that sounds terrible but maybe isn't a nightmare? As frightening as it sounds, plague in rodents at higher elevations is apparently not that rare, and a spokeswoman for the US Forest Service said spread to humans was easily preventable with a few precautions.
posted by Bella Donna at 7:59 AM PST - 55 comments

August 4

The Truman Show

How the 33rd president finagled his way to a post–White House fortune — and created a damaging precedent. Ex-US Presidents are given pay and perks for life because poor Harry Truman left office skint - except he was lying, he was rich as hell, and he effectively stole the equivalent of half his salary from the US Gov each year in office. via
posted by mosessis at 8:15 PM PST - 37 comments

Emotion is not the antithesis of logic

Becky Chambers and Martha Wells discuss A Psalm for the Wild-Built and Fugitive Telemetry (slyt)
posted by curious nu at 4:51 PM PST - 25 comments

The bumblebee flies anyway

Take a look at Opener's battery-powered VTOL BlackFly and its simulator. [more inside]
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 3:40 PM PST - 37 comments

Silly Mefite, Pix are for Kids!

In-browser JS/HTML Kid Pix, sound effects and all.
Okay, I guess grownups can use it too. [more inside]
posted by subocoyne at 2:11 PM PST - 21 comments

Drawing a Synthesizer in MIDI

In 19 seconds, GLASYS does just that in a pleasing way. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by filtergik at 1:48 PM PST - 10 comments

Filling The Void: MAGA After MAGA

Victor Berger IV, master video troubadour of our troubled digital age, microexpression microscoper and air horn tooter to the stars [previouslies 1234] has teamed up with VICE News to ask the pressing question: “MAGA Icons: Where Are They Now and Are They OK?” [slyt 28'41"]
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 12:21 PM PST - 29 comments

Video killed the radio star

The very first two hours of MTV [SlYT]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 9:47 AM PST - 103 comments

“You aren’t old, you are merely disappointed”

Writing for Gawker, Brandy Jensen doles out some good (if classic?) advice on aging: “Dear Fuck-Up: I Feel Old and Washed Up”
posted by Going To Maine at 8:28 AM PST - 83 comments

Man(hood) in Space

The Guardian asks: Why does Jeff Bezos’s rocket look like that? An inquiry. Slate asks a rocket scientist the same question. Jon Stewart gives an answer in a promo sketch [NSFW] for his upcoming Apple+ show (with Jason Alexander as Jeff Bezos)
posted by ShooBoo at 7:42 AM PST - 50 comments

ASL WAP (sltwitterv)

Does what it says on the tin [NSFW]
posted by Gorgik at 7:24 AM PST - 11 comments

Carelessly misidentified homeless man in mental hospital for two years

All evidence that he was someone else was ignored, and his claims to not be the person the police was looking for were taken as evidence of insanity. [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:17 AM PST - 23 comments

Ever Given: Cargo ship that blocked Suez Canal arrives in Felixstowe

The ship [...] arrived at Felixstowe - months later than expected but with its fame - or infamy - assured. As it turned the corner for the home straight, noise levels from those waiting dropped noticeably to almost a hush, only to be broken by children shouting "It's here!". [BBC]
posted by ellieBOA at 12:49 AM PST - 13 comments

August 3

"Good teeth are a luxury only the rich can afford."

Tiffany Ferguson (tiffanyferg) discusses [SLYT] influencer smiles, the rise of veneers, dental tourism, class implications and stigmas of our teeth, dental care as a human right, and what we can do to fix dental care in America. [more inside]
posted by AlSweigart at 7:34 PM PST - 38 comments

Ursula K. Le Guin’s blog archive is back online

“In 2010, at the age of 81, Ursula started a blog. 2017's No Time to Spare collected a selection of her posts into a book, and for a time, those posts were unavailable online. They've now been restored.” Here’s Le Guin’s introductory post. [via]
posted by Kattullus at 1:45 PM PST - 13 comments

‘It has to be known what was done to us’

Reading the criminal complaint in June 2020, the Steiners got a view for the first time of what had been going on inside eBay during their torment. “The vitriol towards us, where did it come from?” David asked. “We didn’t even know these people,” Ina added. “We were helping their customers sell more. That should be a good thing.” (CW: stalking, harassment)
posted by bondcliff at 1:44 PM PST - 31 comments

I've been trying to tell you

Pond House [YouTube] is the first music to surface from the forthcoming release I've Been Trying to Tell You by English trio Saint Etienne: an album (their tenth) "made largely from samples and sounds drawn from the years 1997-2001, a period that was topped and tailed by Labour's election victory and the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Was the optimism of that era a lost golden age, or was it a period of naïvety, delusion and folly?" The album is accompanied by a short film [trailer @ YouTube] directed by Alasdair McLellan.
posted by misteraitch at 12:42 PM PST - 9 comments

Fake accounts and likes were being used to sway elections globally

When she wasn’t working to scrub away vanity likes, [Sophie Zhang] diligently combed through streams of data, searching for the use of fake pages, fake accounts, and other forms of coordinated fake activity on politicians’ pages .... Was it more important to push for a case in Bolivia, with a population of 11.6 million, or in Rajasthan, India, with a population close to 70 million?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:24 AM PST - 13 comments

A Film On Possibility

British trancecore band Enter Shikari spent the last few days releasing a series of mini-documentaries, partially about the making of their 2020 album Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible [YouTube playlist], but more interestingly about the state of humanity's existence in the 21st century, what lies ahead, the challenges we face today, and how our systems in place now tend to bring out the worst in us.

A Film On Possibility: 1 - EXISTENTIAL RISK (20m), 2 - THE NATURAL WORLD (26m), 3 - SOCIETY (28m), 4 - STRUCTURE (28m) [more inside]
posted by glonous keming at 8:30 AM PST - 15 comments

"It's history, my friend."

Presenting the top contender for "feel-good moment" from this year's Olympics in Tokyo: in the Men's High Jump event, Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi tied for first and faced a tiebreaking jump-off. Instead, Barshim proposed to officials that they simply share the gold. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:15 AM PST - 75 comments


Following up on their award winning documentary on the history of the Seattle Mariners, Jon Bois and his compatriots at Secret Base now turn their eyes to Atlanta to dissect the Dirty Birds themselves, the Falcons. (SLYT)
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:43 AM PST - 12 comments

August 2

Foreign fighting: escaping the cheese bell

Thomas Hegghammer on the Cheese Bell Theory of foreign fighting: "that foreign fighting provides strategic depth - and hence longevity - to movements that would otherwise crumble under domestic repression." [more inside]
posted by russilwvong at 11:52 PM PST - 19 comments

Danny Elfman's Second Solo Album

It slipped under my radar, but last month Danny Elfman put out an album, Big Mess. [Wikipedia] It's industrial/grunge rock (includes 2/5 of NIN!) with an orchestral grounding. Hints of minimalism, triple dueling guitars, and a seething cauldron of hate and anger about Trump and 2020. Enjoy! Disk One: Sorry [video, behind the scenes], True [video], In Time, Everybody Loves You, Dance With The Lemurs, Serious Ground, Choose Your Side, We Belong [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:13 PM PST - 12 comments

“This Is Going to Change the World”

As the new millennium dawned, a mysterious invention from a charismatic millionaire became a viral sensation—then went down in flames. Ever since, I’ve wondered: Was it all my fault? - the story of selling the story of the Segway.
posted by ShooBoo at 10:18 AM PST - 112 comments

Too Many Wellness Drinks

How Big Beverage Poured Empty Promises Down Our Throats
posted by box at 10:15 AM PST - 55 comments

Craig Murray Sentenced to 8 Months in Prison

Craig Murray, historian, journalist, whistleblower and former diplomat, has begun an 8 Month Prison sentence over his reporting of the former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond’s Trial in 2020. Craig is the first person in the world to be jailed for supposed “jigsaw identification” of witnesses. Craig has previously reported on the Assange extradition hearing, the Israeli Elbit weapons factories in the UK and the Philip Cross Affair at Wikipedia.
posted by Lanark at 9:35 AM PST - 23 comments

The Weeknd vs. Abel Tesfaye

With an instantly recognizable voice and songs that have been streamed several billion times, The Weeknd is one of the most ubiquitous pop stars in the world. But where does Abel Tesfaye end and his dark, grimy public persona begin? Mark Anthony Green finally gets the artist to explain. [GQ]
posted by ellieBOA at 9:28 AM PST - 25 comments

The Dangerous Ideas of “Longtermism” and “Existential Risk”

"So-called rationalists have created a disturbing secular religion that looks like it addresses humanity’s deepest problems, but actually justifies pursuing the social preferences of elites."
posted by simmering octagon at 9:06 AM PST - 81 comments

“The addition to your edition”

The TLS relaunched their podcast at the beginning of last winter, with hosts Thea Lenarduzzi and Lucy Dallas. Usually the format is two interviews about an article each in each week’s issue, bracketing a couple of shorter items. Among the subjects covered are Christina de Pisan, Vivian Gornick and Dungeons & Dragons, Agatha Christie and the return of live opera and Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon’s relationship and Arsène Wenger. A word of warning, if you’re prone to buying books, every episode is like a trap set before you, just last Friday I ordered The Luminous Novel by Mario Levrero which was discussed on last week’s episode, along with William Blake.
posted by Kattullus at 4:25 AM PST - 11 comments

August 1

True! Who are you? Perry Mason?

Lesley Ann Warren Answers Every Question We Have About Clue [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:19 PM PST - 10 comments

The Concert For Bangladesh

Sunday, August 1, 1971, George Harrison (Beatle, Wilbury) got some of his friends together for two charity concerts. The Concert For Bangladesh [Wikipedia] is a film that documents those extraordinary concerts. You can watch it on Vimeo. [1h30m]
posted by hippybear at 12:53 PM PST - 24 comments

Winter Comes For Activision Blizzard

On July 20th, following a multiyear investigation in which the company stonewalled the state of California at every turn, the state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Activision Blizzard over a pervasive "frat boy" culture of sexual harassment and abuse. (CW: suicide, harassment, rape) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:52 PM PST - 57 comments

I believe that Islam as a religion at its core treasured women

Amel Bashir is little known outside her home country; she is a Sudanese fine artist, who was born in Port Sudan and raised in Jedda and now lives in Khartoum.
A Guardian article and some larger reproductions of her intricate work.
posted by adamvasco at 11:03 AM PST - 3 comments

Christopher Lee reads Sherlock Holmes Stories

Christopher Lee reads Sherlock Holmes stories. Interested? [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 9:22 AM PST - 11 comments

The Rise of Mixed Events at the Tokyo Olympics

Seven Olympic sports have added mixed events. The new events pose interesting tactical and strategic challenges. "On Saturday, the race’s unique configuration meant that Lydia Jacoby, the gold medalist in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke, wound up swimming the second leg for the U.S. against Adam Peaty of Britain, the men’s world-record holder. Caeleb Dressel, the men’s 100-meter freestyle champion, later anchored the Americans by trying to swim down three women but was too far behind and was slowed by rough water that churned in front of him. The U.S. finished fifth, three seconds behind Britain, whose relay team set a world record." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 7:03 AM PST - 17 comments

I love my wife. My wife is dead. ~~Richard Feynman

A love letter. In June of 1945, his wife and high-school sweetheart, Arline, passed away after succumbing to tuberculosis. She was 25-years-old. 16 months later, in October of 1946, Richard wrote his late wife a heartbreaking love letter and sealed it in an envelope. It remained unopened until after his death in 1988.
posted by dancestoblue at 5:51 AM PST - 16 comments