September 2009 Archives

September 30

Good news - it's Supreme Court Week.

Beginning Sunday, October 4 it's Supreme Court Week on C-SPAN! [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 11:02 PM PST - 9 comments

Reach out and iPod Touch someone

There's an app for everything. Even when there shouldn't be. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:59 PM PST - 21 comments

Chimera Apple

Million to one apple is half red, half green. "Fruit grower Ken Morrish was left stunned when he found a golden delicious apple on his tree split exactly half green, half red down the middle." [more inside]
posted by HotPants at 9:32 PM PST - 51 comments

This rock and roll has gotta stop, Junior's head's as hard as rock

Larry Williams is not as famous as many of his contemporaries, but was responsible for a long string of hits beginning with Short Fat Fannie in 1957. He continued to produce such rock and roll staples as Slow Down, Bony Moronie, and She Said Yeah. His songs are probably better known today through other artists' interpretations of his songs. Williams' songs have been covered by: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Replacements, The Beatles, Johnny Winter, The Who, The Plastic Ono Band, Paul McCartney, and The Jam. Also Sha Na Na. And every garage band in the world. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 7:23 PM PST - 14 comments

Change we can believe in?

John L. Perry worked in the Johnson and Carter administrations. He posts once a week at a blog called Right Angles. Perry's latest column suggested that a "civilized" military coup to "resolve the Obama problem" should not be dismissed as "unrealistic". Another person who thinks a military dictatorship may be in America's future? Gore Vidal.
posted by lukemeister at 5:33 PM PST - 173 comments

The Doers Club

The Doers Club
posted by ryoshu at 5:05 PM PST - 14 comments

Oldest Family Run Business

So how long have you been running your business? The Houshi Onsen in Komatsu, Japan. About a 2.5 hour train ride north from Kyoto is the Houshi Onsen complex was founded in 718. The legend states that the god of Mount Hakusan visited a Buddhist priest and told him to uncover an underground hot spring in a nearby village. He found the hot spring and asked his disciple, a woodcutter’s son named Gengoro Sasakiri, to build and operate a spa on the site. His family has run a hotel in Komatsu ever since. The structure houses 450 people in 100 rooms. For generations, Houshi proprietors have borne the name Zengoro Houshi. The current proprietor is the 46th Zengoro!
posted by somnambulist at 4:47 PM PST - 27 comments

Funny, you don't look HBO Bluish

Non-linear storytelling taken to a new level, HBO's Imagine website features film and audio clips combined with press clippings in a 3D space which you can navigate at your will. It also includes some "cube scenes" which play from multiple angles at once, revealing hidden events which require you to view the scene from all angles to get all the details. [warning - Flash-to-the-gills design] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:20 PM PST - 7 comments

"I've never been so excited on a 3-1 count in my life."

"I think clearly it's going to be Tuiasosopo today, he's swung the bat well the last few times and he's got an opportunity to play. I expect him to hit his first big league home run today."

Mariners television analyst Mike Blowers makes a goofy pregame prediction... that comes true.
posted by starman at 3:27 PM PST - 50 comments

"I hate Windows, but I hate strawmen Mac evangelists more."

Charlie Brooker's half-serious hatred of Macs is well documented, and he has just revisited the topic again for some reason. Some are a little miffed at the whole thing. (via) [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 3:08 PM PST - 174 comments


Saturn is no more. "Other industries could learn from the Saturn Corporation. Certainly GM is taking what they have learned from their Saturn investment and incorporating it into their existing plants and facilities where practical. It will not be an overnight experience. Like Saturn, it will take time, investment and a strong commitment to regain the role of world leader in the automobile industry."
posted by plexi at 2:25 PM PST - 84 comments

The is not your sister's jump rope performance

The Kings Firecrackers performance at a Naval Academy basketball game. When we jumped roped in high school basketball practice I was happy to get through the 60 seconds without falling on my butt. 4th to 8th graders doing this with jump ropes is almost beyond comprehension. 8 minute video - and worth every second of it.
posted by COD at 2:18 PM PST - 25 comments

The Justice Gap in America

Nearly one million people who seek help for civil legal problems, such as foreclosures and domestic violence, will be turned away this year. A new report by the Legal Services Corporation, a non-profit established by Congress in 1974 to ensure equal access to justice, finds that legal aid programs turn away one person for every client served. The full report, "Documenting the Justice Gap in America" is available here (pdf). The 2009 report is an update and expansion on a 2005 report (available here) finding that 80% of the poor lacked access to legal aid. [more inside]
posted by lunit at 2:16 PM PST - 7 comments

Cancer Causing Viruses

Paul Ewald, an evolutionary biologist at University of Louisville in Kentucky states his conviction, in one interview with Discover Magazine that, that by 2050 the human species will have found that between 80% and as high as 95% of cancers are caused by viruses. [more inside]
posted by mdpatrick at 2:10 PM PST - 19 comments

Beefcake boys... fully clothed

Beefcake boys... fully clothed. Bob Mizer of Athletic Model Guild fame – you may have seen the film Beefcake that dramatized his life – didn’t just shoot nudes. Sometimes his lads kept their clothes on. In the great tradition of hyperspecialized Internet “porn,” Butt magazine (previously) collects some examples of what you could call Mizer’s “chaste” portfolio. (Saucy language, but photos quite safe for work.) [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 1:50 PM PST - 18 comments


In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future, There is Only Skulls War... the movie!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:32 PM PST - 112 comments

Crime Time

The 2009 anthology of The Best American Crime Reporting is out. Each year this series collects examples of exceptional and diverse true crime journalism. Many of the entries are available in their online magazines. Starting with "Dan P. Lee, Body Snatchers - Philadelphia magazine" (part of the story previously discussed here), a ghoulish tale of stolen corpses and the market behind him. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:28 AM PST - 15 comments

Ernst Haeckel: Kunstformen der Natur 1899-1904

Ernst Haeckel: Kunstformen der Natur 1899-1904
posted by yegga at 11:03 AM PST - 22 comments

John McPhee

John McPhee writes about basketball, headmasters, oranges, tennis, hybrid airships, nuclear weapons, bark canoes, Alaska, the Swiss Army, the merchant marines, dissident Soviet artists, shad, long-distance trucking, and - Pulitzer Prize-winningly - geology (282kb PDF). He discusses his work here. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 10:37 AM PST - 32 comments

UK Asylum Seekers: Let The Right Ones In

The Home Office, the UK government department responsible for immigration control, has initiated a program to test the DNA from of potential asylum seekers in an attempt to confirm their true nationalities. The initial program is a six-month pilot limited to claimants arriving from the Horn of Africa. The program, currently using forensic samples provided on a voluntary basis, could potentially expand to other nationalities if successful. The Home Office spokeswoman said ancestral DNA testing would not be used alone but would be combined with language analysis, investigative interviewing techniques and other recognized forensic disciplines, but many are decrying the "deeply flawed" program, from refugee support groups to scientists in the genetic forensics fields (via). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 AM PST - 55 comments


Even if you don't know Joe Raposo's name, you probably have heard his music. Throughout the 1970's and 1980's, Joe was the main composer of songs and incidental music for the children's television shows Sesame Street and The Electric Company. In this role, he wrote some of today's standards while also imprinting his musical stylings on the consciousness of a generation of children worldwide. In the second half of this post, you will find a curation of youtube-links leading to a good chunk of Joe Raposo's oeuvre -- all gems, mostly under two minutes each. Sing along if you know the words! [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 8:39 AM PST - 43 comments

Which One Is the Original?

So you think you can tell Arial from Helvetica? Take 20 logos that were originally designed in Helvetica, and redo them in Arial. Some people would call that blasphemy. Instead, call it a challenge: can you tell which is the original and which is the remake?
posted by netbros at 6:47 AM PST - 168 comments

Superman's powers explained

It is our opinion that all of Superman's recognized powers can be unified if his power is the ability to manipulate, from atomic to kilometer length scales, the inertia of his own and any matter with which he is in contact. The Grand Unifying Theory of Superman's powers. ('pdf) (via)
posted by slimepuppy at 6:43 AM PST - 61 comments

Adobe UI Gripes

Adobe UI Gripes
posted by nthdegx at 5:28 AM PST - 81 comments

The Three Human Bombs

The scene was the siege of Shanghai, the year 1932. It was more than half a year since the Mukden Incident had provided a pretext for Japan to invade Manchuria and begin moving down through Northern China. Three Imperial Japanese soldiers from an engineering division died in a bomb blast that took out a section of the Chinese fortifications, allowing Japanese forces to surge through the breach and advance. The fallen soldiers became known as the "Three Human Bombs" (Bakudan Sanyushi / 爆弾三勇士). Memorials were built and murals were painted and the Three Human Bombs were remembered as gallant and selfless heroes who gave their lives for the greater good of Japan, lauded on stage, in film, and in song. A military medal was created to award heroism in honor of the three. Problem is, it was all a lie. The story of the Three Human Bombs was one of the most successful propaganda campaigns of the early twentieth century.
posted by XMLicious at 5:19 AM PST - 14 comments

Free dinner! George Monbiot shows how to catch and prepare American crayfish.

The native British white-clawed crayfish is threatened by extinction from the signal crayfish. Today's Guardian features George Monbiot with one approach to the problem: how to catch and prepare signal crayfish, the brash American cousin. Nice use of recycled materials and beer, but needs more paella recipes.
posted by handee at 4:13 AM PST - 27 comments

Save the most people by reporting potholes

Last year, Google launched Project 10^100, a call for world-changing ideas to be funded to the tune of 10 million. At the time, MetaFilter was generally sceptical and Slashdot irreverent. The shortlist has been announced for voting.
posted by outlier at 3:42 AM PST - 48 comments

September 29

The form of the Joint Dictatorship of the Proletariat of Oppressed Nations

I have proposed, in the past, that the Joint Dictatorship of the Proletariat of Oppressed Nations should disperse the Amerikkkans throughout the Third World instead of allowing them to remain in occupied North America. Here are some of my reasons.
[more inside]
posted by shii at 11:00 PM PST - 93 comments

Oh my goth!

Amazingly Consistent Obama Smile [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 6:08 PM PST - 131 comments

The Charlie Doctor

An Indian Doctor's Cure-All: Charlie Chaplin "Aswani's pushing sixty. He's not in great physical shape, thanks to a bad motorcycle accident years ago and also arthritis but he can do the funny walk beautifully." In a story about movies that seems like it would make a good movie itself* (or at least a moving story on This (Non-)American Life), Ashok Aswani, a practitioner of ayurvedic medicine in Adipur, India has taken the phrase "laughter is the best medicine" to its logical conclusion and hands out free DVDs of Chaplin movies to cheer up his patients [more inside]
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:41 PM PST - 25 comments

Strange Adventures in Infinite Space

Strange Adventures in Infinite Space is a game of space exploration that can be played in under twenty minutes. Its adjustable difficulty and random maps make it very replayable, and for the first time ever, it's completely free. PC and Mac versions are available. [more inside]
posted by CrunchyFrog at 1:55 PM PST - 37 comments

The future's hell. The future's Orange.

A 51 year old father of two has just become the 24th suicide in 18 months at France Telecom, also known as Orange. Apparently, it had something to do with conditions at work, but France Telecom's CFO is punting a different theory.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 1:07 PM PST - 85 comments


Newsfilter: A large (8.3) earthquake near Samoa has triggered a tsunami in Samoa and American Samoa, and warnings for the pacific and Hawaii. [more inside]
posted by sycophant at 12:51 PM PST - 45 comments

Self-segregation on social networks?

Are social networks becoming segregated by choice?
"MySpace is no longer cool. As a matter of fact, its number of users is now one-half the size of rival Facebook. Is this because MySpace is too black for the rest of America? Teenage Internet users may hold the answer. High-schoolers report their use of the social-networking giants along racial lines—MySpace is seen as “black,” while Facebook is “white.”
posted by Marky at 12:27 PM PST - 247 comments

An infinitely expanding field of boxes, each containing one thing

Spezify is a metasearch engine. The interface is in Flash.
posted by ardgedee at 12:01 PM PST - 36 comments

The Thumping Guide to New York City

The Thumping Guide to New York City [via mefi projects] documents things in New York City that make cool sounds when you thump them with your fist. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:56 AM PST - 27 comments


Cleveland Rocks! While the IOC is still preparing to elect the host city for for 2016 Olympics, the (unaffiliated) Federation of Gay Games has just announced that the 2014 Gay Games will be held on Lake Erie, with Cleveland's bid beating those of Washington, DC and Boston. [more inside]
posted by kittyprecious at 11:04 AM PST - 38 comments

It'll Kentucky-Fry Your Mind!

Assault Girl & Trailer for Assault Girls (via)
posted by anotherpanacea at 11:02 AM PST - 27 comments

Rocket Shots

Soyuz rocket rolls to launch pad. A fine photoset of an otherwise routine Russian rocket rollout. I can tell that photographer Bill Ingalls loves rockets. His favs.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 10:38 AM PST - 34 comments

A Few Strange Notes About Schizophrenia

Here's a strange one for the books: Science has taken notice that a really, really LARGE proportion of schizophrenic patients smoke. In fact, Scientific American Mind reports that an average of 85% of schizophrenic patients smoke cigarettes compared to only 20% in the general population. Many schizophrenics also appear to have abnormal thermoregulation, an impaired ability to understand body language, an inability to perceive an optical illusion called "the hollow mask illusion," an impaired ability to produce a brain protein known as the muscarinic M1 receptor, and an abnormally large number of genetic mutations known as CNV's or "copy number variations."
posted by mdpatrick at 9:50 AM PST - 65 comments

Cancer cells, covered in bees!

Nanobees! (trained to kill cancer cells) [more inside]
posted by msalt at 9:28 AM PST - 29 comments

Ass, Backwards

It became necessary, one day, at Willet's Point, to destroy a worthless mule, and the subject was made the occasion of giving instruction to the military class there stationed. The mule was placed in proper position before the camera and duly focused. Upon the animal's forehead a cotton bag was tied containing six ounces of dynamite.....
Instantaneous Photography, 1881 style. From Scientific American, September 24, 1881: (a) Text (b) Engravings: Before the Explosion; After the Explosion. (c) Photographs: The Explosion. images from; link via things magazine.
posted by Rumple at 8:10 AM PST - 88 comments

Everybody says bugs taste good even if they taste them only once

Insect Sushi Shoichi Uchiyama makes sushi of a different kind. Academic studies have shown insects are rich in nutrition and many are even more nutritionally balanced than meat or fish... In addition, they grow much faster and require less feed than animals and fish, and leftover vegetables are enough to farm many kinds of bugs. They grow in small spaces and don't compete with human beings over food... Recipes inside. (via Scribal Terror) [more inside]
posted by caddis at 7:06 AM PST - 85 comments

Cut & Paste.

Cut & Paste - International exhibition of contemporary collage and assemblage is showing in Stockholm, Sweden (and also, on the interwebs). See it in person now through October 10.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:41 AM PST - 2 comments

Uno Moralez - Supernature! (NSFW)

Uno Moralez, aka Indi, produces some very disturbing pixel art (much of it definitely NSFW). [more inside]
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:11 AM PST - 21 comments


Your new veggie garden. Early Saturday morning, you and about fifteen others turn up at a strangers home and get to work setting up a veggie garden using permaculture design principles. Once you've done this three times you can put your name on the list to have the horde come to your place. Permablitz began helping people create home food gardens in Melbourne, Australia in 2006, and the meme is spreading, first to other Australian cities, then to France, Uganda and the Netherlands. The veggie gardens are great, but perhaps even better is the way it is rebuilding the community relationships of mutual support that modern urban dwellers could be forgiven for thinking were gone 19th Century practise of barn raising.
posted by compound eye at 1:19 AM PST - 24 comments


Scrabulizer lets you enter the current state of your game in Scrabble and shows you all possible moves. They've also discovered a move worth 2044 Points
posted by minifigs at 12:57 AM PST - 57 comments

the girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Though many have long suspected that the title of John Lennon's Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds was a barely-concealed reference to the drug he was so fond of, Lennon himself always maintained otherwise, as in this interview with Dick Cavett, explaining that the inspiration for the fanciful name was from his son Julian, who'd brought him a drawing of his nursery school friend. That friend, one Lucy O'Donnell, just passed away.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:52 AM PST - 29 comments

September 28

Are polymathy and general knowledge in decline?

Two articles from The Economist's Intelligent Life magazine about changes in knowledge production and acquisition, The Last Days of the Polymath by Edward Carr and Is Google Killing General Knowledge? by Brian Cathcart. The first deals with the implications of increasing specialization in all field of human activity and the second with whether people are not committing facts to memory because they are so easy to look up on the internet.
posted by Kattullus at 9:20 PM PST - 62 comments

The Jay Leno Show, two weeks in

Two weeks ago the first episode of The Jay Leno Show gathered to big ratings, leading some to question what his appeal actually is. After the inevitable fall in ratings a review of the show showed up in The New Yorker. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:38 PM PST - 116 comments

Hi, How Are You

Hi, How Are You is a really fun iPhone game based on the music and art of Daniel Johnston. Imagine QBert crossed with Super Mario 64 and WarioWare Touched mixed together in a blender with Daniel Johnston, and you pretty much have it.
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:49 PM PST - 27 comments

Tent City

Multiple stories (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) from and about Tent City, a homeless encampment in Nashville, Tennessee.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:41 PM PST - 18 comments

Looking for Leonardo

Are figures in a Florentine altar panel attributed to Italian artist Andrea del Verrocchio actually by Leonardo da Vinci? "The Baptistery figures, if accepted as Leonardo's, would be the only extant sculptures made in the artist's lifetime..." Related ARTNews article, additional Smithsonian Magazine article, National Gallery of Art writeup related to the additional Smithsonian Magazine article, and the High Museum's upcoming Leonardo exhibit.
posted by cog_nate at 4:29 PM PST - 19 comments

i don't wanna editorialize this thing but I'm just saying soul survivors was actually pretty decent okay

Early or not, Rotten Tomatoes brings us the 100 worst films of the decade.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:28 PM PST - 222 comments

Tom Lehrer has some work to do...

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been able to confirm the production of the superheavy element 114, ten years after a group in Russia, at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, first claimed to have made it. The search for 114 has long been a key part of the quest for nuclear science’s hoped-for Island of Stability.
[more inside]
posted by darkstar at 4:07 PM PST - 15 comments

seeing is believing

What global warming looks like - Some amazing time lapse sequences of glacier retreat and a spectacular ice-shelf collapse: [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 3:45 PM PST - 44 comments

Google Sidewiki: all your comments are belong to us

Google Sidewiki serves a small wiki page down the side of any site on the web: a place where people can make annotations and comments without having to sign into the site itself. You have to install Google Toolbar to use it, as well as signing up to Google Webmaster and activating your Google profile, however, Google believe it will bring a new age of transparency to the social web. Others, however, see it as a spammers' charter, an attempt to hijack all comments on the web, a tool for brand and reputation attacks or the final nail in the coffin for Google's much vaunted 'don't be evil' tagline. Even Jeff Jarvis, the ultimate Google fanboy, is unhappy with it.
posted by johnny novak at 2:16 PM PST - 143 comments

Tehran Bureau

Tehran Bureau, the independent Iran news website which became indispensable during the post-election protests in June, has found a new home at PBS's Frontline, which is taking them under its wing by financing and hosting the Web site and providing editorial support. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 2:03 PM PST - 15 comments

Ai Weiwei hospitalised

Ai Weiwei, one of the leading Chinese artists of his generation, has undergone emergency brain surgery after being beaten by police. [more inside]
posted by WPW at 1:41 PM PST - 13 comments

Go Deep

The Deepening. A nsfw video choose your own undercover cop adventure with bad fake moustaches. (via RPS)
posted by juv3nal at 12:57 PM PST - 21 comments

How accurate was Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" about the future?

How accurate was Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" about the future? "Part of the reason that Dr Floyd has been sent to Clavius Base is to deliver a morale-boosting speech to a crew bemused by what they have unearthed on the moon. [...] Frankly, there is no way that this would have been done in the real 2001 without the judicious use of PowerPoint featuring Excel charts and inspiring pictures of puppies, and probably some free branded goodies to take away and cheer everybody up."
posted by feelinglistless at 12:37 PM PST - 62 comments

Modern journalism: Only rich kids need apply.

The Costs of Becoming a Journalist: "Journalists born since 1970 predominantly come from middle class to upper middle class backgrounds. And Journalism ranks third in the list of the most socially exclusive professions, just behind doctors and lawyers." One reason: "a prerequisite for entrance into a career in journalism is at least one internship experience, and ... many, if not most, are unpaid." For some of the problems with unpaid internship: Take This Internship and Shove It
posted by shetterly at 12:23 PM PST - 70 comments

Do Not Disturb. Or Do. Either Way.

"When my grandfather passed away last year, my family gathered to go through his belongings. He had been in the foreign service and he had filled a whole wall of his study with hotel door hangers from all his travels throughout the world. They're really beautiful, in aggregate, and I wanted to share. Enjoy."
posted by dersins at 11:51 AM PST - 20 comments

Collision Tests: Old versus New, rounds 1 and 2

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently had their 50th anniversary, and to taut the progress of car safety design, they've set a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air versus a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu, and shared the crash test videos on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:46 AM PST - 81 comments

Just let me die with my trumpet in my hand

Common Rotation is a three-piece folk/indie band out of Los Angeles. They write you a song a day (ish), and they make documentary films. (first link autoplays music) [more inside]
posted by lholladay at 10:13 AM PST - 3 comments

Economist attacks Krugman as superficial and partisan.

Paul Krugman attacked professional macroeconomists (previously). John Cochrane, an economist at the University of Chicago, returns the favor, arguing that Krugman deeply misrepresents current economic ideas because he's abandoned economics as a "quest for understanding" in favor of trying to be the "Rush Limbaugh of the Left."
posted by shivohum at 9:42 AM PST - 77 comments

Celebrate freedom: Read a banned book!

Banned Books Week, held annually on the last week of September, emphasizes the importance of intellectual freedom and the threat of censorship. [more inside]
posted by orrnyereg at 8:46 AM PST - 51 comments

Harvey Cox Says Atheism Won't Last. Here's Why You Should Care What Harvey Cox Thinks...

Harvey Cox, one of the foremost American theologians of the twentieth century, recently retired from Harvard, where he held the oldest tenured professorship in the nation. You've seen him discussed here before for more bovine pursuits. But more importantly, he has argued that atheism is a passing fad; his new book contends it emerges in response to factors that will change the face of faith in the coming generation. Why should you care about an old theologian's last hurrah? His prior predictions have been right.
posted by jefficator at 8:21 AM PST - 232 comments


UGO. The latest project by MIND and Jeff K-ray.
posted by Matthias Rascher at 7:26 AM PST - 5 comments

Adam Curtis - Kabul: City Number One

"I am researching the extraordinary history of the West's relationship to Afghanistan over the past 200 years. It is a very complex, and sometimes weird, story. These are notes on some of the characters and episodes involved." A work in progress by Adam Curtis - Kabul: City Number One. Part One, and Part Two.
posted by robself at 7:22 AM PST - 3 comments

Patterns for the Color Blind

About 8% of the male population has some sort of color vision deficiency. The color blind are unable to clearly distinguish different colors of the spectrum, they tend to see colors in a limited range of hues. Because of this, the color blind have trouble with a lot of websites. The patterns and examples on We Are Color Blind help developers create websites the color deficient can use with minimal problems. Take a color vision test to see where you stand. 50 facts about color blindness.
posted by netbros at 6:44 AM PST - 90 comments

Premanand will not recant

Basava Premanand, rationalist and founder of The Indian Skeptic, is dying. [more inside]
posted by vanar sena at 5:25 AM PST - 16 comments

Skull thought to be Hitler's is female

Lending credence to conspiracy theorists everywhere, the skull fragment previously believed to have belonged to Adolf Hilter has been identified as female by DNA tests.
posted by Plutor at 5:13 AM PST - 60 comments

Flash mob in aisle 3!

Brassed off?! (YouTube, 5 min.) Like the health care debate itself, the boycott / buycott confrontation regarding the recent article by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey may be heating up. Mackey, who was previously investigated by the SEC for making anonymous internet posts talking up his stock while trashing the valuation of an acquisition target, now faces opposition from suppliers and labor groups, a decrease in brand perception, investor calls to step down... and pesky oom-pah bands.
posted by markkraft at 5:00 AM PST - 29 comments

September 27

I miss Carl Sagan.

I miss Carl Sagan. I miss Carl Sagan. I miss Carl Sagan. [more inside]
posted by jiawen at 11:06 PM PST - 43 comments

Typhoon Ondoy / Tropical Storm Ketsana leaves Northern Philippines in a state of Calamity

410mm of rain fell over Northern Luzon, Philippines on September 25, 2009, leaving much of the country's capital and the surrounding regions submerged in water, reaching up to nine feet in some areas. As of latest coverage, over 100 were killed and 340,000 affected by the Typhoon. This amount has been the highest recorded amount of rainfall since the country's weather Bureau started recording rainfall levels in 1967, and exceeds the rainfall level of Hurrican Katrina (380mm). Two more tropical depressions could be under way in the midst of Ondoy's wake. As of now, there are still families stranded on the rooftops of their homes without food and potable water. Most relief aid is coming from volunteers. As for the country's president? She used the Php800M(USD16.8M) emergency fund for foreign trips. See the damage. International News Coverage: NYT Reuters CNN BBC [more inside]
posted by drea at 10:51 PM PST - 23 comments

350 ppm is all we've got

350 ppm [more inside]
posted by wilful at 8:35 PM PST - 70 comments

albino magic

Albinos often face mistrust and discrimination, perhaps because they tend to be portrayed as evil in popular culture. But in Tanzania and Burundi, weird delusions that albinos have magical powers mean that they are actually being hunted down, murdered and dismembered to harvest their supposedly magical body parts. One group of albino kids are trying to spread some sense by forming their own "magic" sports team.
posted by w0mbat at 8:07 PM PST - 19 comments

Brindin Press, poetry translations

Brindin Press has lots of poetry translations into English online, concentrating on French, German, Italian and Spanish, though more than 40 other languages are represented as well. A boatload of translators is represented, from those toiling in obscurity to big literary names (e.g. there are translations of Catullus poems by Ben Jonson, Jonathan Swift, Louis Zukofsky, Aubrey Beardsley and Thomas Hardy). There is also a section of quirky poems. Finally, here's a rendition of Goethe's Der Erlkönig that substitutes the elfish king with a dalek.
posted by Kattullus at 7:38 PM PST - 4 comments

Nate Silver accusess polling firm of fraud

42.7 percent of all statistics are made up: After Strategic Visions refused to share the methodology behind some of their polling, Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight analyzed the firm's poling results and found evidence of fraud. Strategic Visions responds to The Hill. More amusingly, Nate went on a look at an even more questionable study by the same company claiming that only 23 percent of Oklahoma students know that George Washington is the first president. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 6:51 PM PST - 75 comments

The BLT Kama Sutra at Kitchen Scraps

You say you like bacon, sure, but do you love it? Do you love love it? The BLT Kama Sutra [mildly NSFW, possibly] is an illustrated response to the Michael Ruhlman BLT from Scratch Summertime Challenge [previously on MetaFilter]. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:33 PM PST - 11 comments

Awkward Yearbook Signatures

Every year, thousands of things get written in people's yearbooks. Some of them are heartfelt and will stand the test of time. But most of them are just Awkward Yearbook Signatures. [via mefi projects]
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:02 PM PST - 62 comments

cooking with contraptions

Top 10 Food-Based Rube Goldberg Machines (videos) If this type of food preparation is too elaborate for your tastes, the Super-Fast Pancake-Sorting Flexpicker Robot might be more to your style.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:47 PM PST - 29 comments

WaPo's Social Media Guidelines

The Washington Post has issued new Social Media Guidelines for all employees. From the memo: "All Washington Post journalists relinquish some of the personal privileges of private citizens." [more inside]
posted by Ike_Arumba at 2:42 PM PST - 22 comments

Food Fights and Timeline

Food Fights and Timeline
posted by yegga at 1:09 PM PST - 9 comments

First person video of a skier buried, then rescued from an avalanche.

Not for want of a glove: first person video of a skier buried, then rescued from an avalanche. He also got very lucky to be honest. In the time that he's buried, you can hear his breathing already accelerate. The ruffling noise back and forth is his chest rising and falling and the noise that his jacket makes. The intermittent whimpering noise you hear is him trying to swallow and get some air since the avalung wasn't fully in his mouth and instead just to the corner of his mouth. Avalanche at 1:19. Blue sky and view of the rescuers starts at 6:07.
posted by maudlin at 12:48 PM PST - 42 comments

I prefer to think of it as a 'trolley opportunity'

Michael Sandel's "Justice" has long been one of the most popular courses at Harvard. Now for the first time the class is being broadcast online. The site for "Justice." [more inside]
posted by grobstein at 12:46 PM PST - 24 comments

Let's Go Pitt!

Some "highlights" from this weekend's G20 protests in Pittsburg.
posted by empath at 12:35 PM PST - 116 comments

William Safire dead at 79

RIP the master maven: William Safire dead at 79 of cancer. As someone who worked with him behind the scenes to help him with research for his language columns, I'm thankful for his attempts to bring discussions of language into popular discourse, or as he called it, his work in "the language dodge." [more inside]
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:11 PM PST - 61 comments

_____ Blue

Coke is Corn. (Among other things.) [more inside]
posted by Sys Rq at 12:07 PM PST - 40 comments

Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller

Post-(cheap)oil: will the end of globalisation be the beginning of re-localisation? [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:33 AM PST - 17 comments

As bad as inflation is deflation is much, much worse

Why is deflation far worse than inflation? After all, prices are falling, goods and services get cheaper, what's not to like? [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 10:38 AM PST - 33 comments

We live in the city of dreams, We drive on the highway of fire

David Byrne has just published a new book about bicycles called Bicycle Diaries. A long time rider, Byrne muses on how the world looks and works from the vantage point of a cyclist. It's getting pretty good reviews. To launch the book, Byrne is touring the US and arranging public forums. Each event features a civic leader, an urban theorist, a bicycle advocate, and Byrne himself speaking about bikes in cities. Here’s a schedule of the upcoming events. He’s also designed some bike racks for his hometown of New York City. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan at 9:59 AM PST - 28 comments

Games, Actions and Social Software

Games, Actions and Social Software. As seen through the lens of mathematics and logic. Presented as a discussion between characters. [more inside]
posted by jouke at 9:51 AM PST - 3 comments

A parade in Brest, 1939.

September 22, 1939: In the Polish city of Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, in Belarus), "a monumental military parade took place.... What is unusual is that the parade was held not by the Polish army, but by the soviet Red Army and the Nazi German Wehrmacht – together." The excellent blog Poemas del río Wang (which usually features gorgeous illustrations from books) provides historical context, many photos, posters, and cartoons, even a five-minute official German newsreel (the parade takes up the first half). The event itself is a historical footnote, but in Russia, with the "cult of the victory of Soviet people and of the Soviet state in WWII," the very idea of it was anathema and it was denied until last year. [more inside]
posted by languagehat at 9:03 AM PST - 26 comments

Polanski arrested

Film director Roman Polanski, who won numerous awards for films like Chinatown and The Pianist, has been detained for extradition to the US, whilst travelling to Switzerland to collect a lifetime achievement award at the Zürich Film Festival. [more inside]
posted by acb at 6:55 AM PST - 569 comments

Bites of Passage

"The old distinction between mosquito territory and human territory – and the idea that the one can be reclaimed from the other – has collapsed. Now humans come first and mosquitoes follow." How the Asian tiger mosquito left the jungles of Southeast Asia to take over the world, one used tire at a time.
posted by sloweducation at 6:20 AM PST - 12 comments

September 26

Kurt Wenner, master of 3D pavement art

Presenting Kurt Wenner, master of street painting.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:38 PM PST - 17 comments

Who knew the Roomba had an inner artist?

The art of the Roomba: Long term exposures of the vacuum cleaning robot at work.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:03 PM PST - 31 comments

Shūji Terayama

Three short films from avant-garde director Shūji Terayama -- The Cage ll Emperor Tomato Ketchup (NSFW) ll Labyrinth Tale + this 6 min. clip from Pastoral: To Die in the Country
posted by vronsky at 6:08 PM PST - 8 comments

Delrious Time-Lapse

Ben Wiggins features stunning time-lapse photography. From the strange colorings of the Cnidarian and Montipora coral species, to summer cloud transformations in and around San Francisco. Couldn't make it to Burning Man 2009? See it... in just two minutes (2008, 2007).
posted by netbros at 4:49 PM PST - 4 comments

"Good seltzer should hurt. It's the truth."

“How do I get delivery?” I asked. “Who is this?” Ronny asked, as if I were a crank caller. “How’d you get this number?" [more inside]
posted by R. Mutt at 3:37 PM PST - 67 comments

Neil Barofsky reviews TARP

Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, says: If the goal was to increase lending, well we haven't increased lending. ... Banks that were too big to fail are bigger than ever. ... When TARP was announced, the whole purpose was a statement that we're not going to let our large financial instiutions fail. And with that I think we may be in a far more dangerous place today than we were a year ago. (via)
posted by Joe Beese at 3:30 PM PST - 14 comments

Black Box

What journalists and the public often call the "black box" is typically a nearly-indestructible combination of two things: a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) which records the voices of the pilots and crew from microphones stationed around the plane, and the flight data recorder (FDR), which monitors and stores information about the flight itself, like speed, altitude, and bearing. Underwater locator beacons help search teams find submerged black boxes up to 14,000 feet under water, but sometimes even that isn't enough.
posted by MoreForMad at 3:14 PM PST - 25 comments

Remembering the dead

Every evening since July 2nd 1928*, at precisely eight o'clock, the Last Post has been played under the Menin Gate in Ieper (Ypres, "Wipers" as it was known to British tommies), Belgium. The ritual - performed by buglers from the local fire brigade - honours British and Commonwealth soldiers killed in the five battles at Ypres in the First World War. Today is the 27,888th day of the Last Post ceremony. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan at 2:16 PM PST - 16 comments

The Power of One

At age 17, Bonnie Richardson won the Texas state track team championship all by herself. Then she did it again.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:18 PM PST - 63 comments

Images of the Jazz Age

Images of the Jazz Age
posted by yegga at 12:21 PM PST - 5 comments

Poland Approves Mandatory "Chemical Castration" Drug Treatment for Convicted Pedophiles

In response to an incest case in which a man imprisoned, raped and fathered two children with his own daughter, Poland's Lower House of Parliament has approved an amendment to their penal code which makes chemical castration of pedophiles mandatory in certain cases. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:56 AM PST - 125 comments

we know the drill

Drill-powered mini-bike and wheel-chair. More drill-powered machines (.pdf) from DPX Systems.
posted by Brian B. at 10:32 AM PST - 11 comments

The Poisoned Distraction of Music

Women of the world! Russ Lindquist, also known as russfloyd (Multi-Link Youtubery ahead), wants you to 'Know your Enemy'. [more inside]
posted by eatyourcellphone at 9:44 AM PST - 19 comments


A stick figure guide to the Advanced Encryption Standard. [via Bruce Schneier]
posted by Electric Dragon at 9:29 AM PST - 20 comments

"Oh boy! Are we gonna try something dangerous now?"

Floyd Farland: Citizen of the future - the comic Chris Ware doesn't want you to read.
posted by Artw at 8:58 AM PST - 15 comments

Ten Dollars an Hour

In an area where racial divisions are very stark, the relationships between the "haves" and the "have nots" are very illuminating. Leasse William is a cook at the Sigma Nu fraternity house on the campus of the University of Mississippi. She makes ten dollars an hour. For nine months of pay this equals out at about $15,000/year. This places her well within the over 20% of the population in Mississippi that lives below the poverty line. This mini documentary by Ben Guest about Leasse shines a light on the perspectives of the various actors involved in this drama of racial tensions and class disparity.
posted by anansi at 6:29 AM PST - 85 comments

The Last Lecture

Horrifically bad software demo becomes performance art
posted by kliuless at 4:56 AM PST - 28 comments

Sick money

The same billionaires for Bush are baaaaack, and now they want to profit from health care.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:40 AM PST - 15 comments

Vintage Japanese Matchbox Labels

Japanese Matchbox Labels is a fine collection (flickr set) of wonderful vintage eye candy from the Japan of the 1920s through the 1940s. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:21 AM PST - 7 comments

It is the season to be jolly!!!

Navratri = Nine Nights of Garba and Dandiya on the eve of Dussehra and Diwali.
posted by hadjiboy at 1:08 AM PST - 3 comments

September 25

You unlock this door with the key of imagination

Where Is Everybody? Perhaps they've somehow arrived at the Rod Serling Conference, as The Twilight Zone celebrates 50 years next Friday. To mark the anniversary there is TZ@50 - a celebration in Binghamton, NY Oct 1-4, and a two-day mini course on Serling worth credit. The Syfy channel will be running a TZ marathon Oct 2 at 8am. Last month, a Stamp was unveiled in Serling's honor. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 8:59 PM PST - 37 comments

Free Recordings of The Mel Blanc Show

The Mel Blanc Show ran on the CBS Radio Network from September 3, 1946, to June 24, 1947. In this show, Mel played himself, the hapless owner of a fix-it shop, as well as his young cousin Zookie. The plot for many episodes saw Mel "impersonating an exotic foreigner or other stranger in town" to either impress his girlfriend's father or, at the very least, avoid angering him. 40 episodes of The Mel Blanc Show can be found here in MP3 format for your listening pleasure. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:21 PM PST - 14 comments


Times were tough. Hair was long, complex and strange, and so were the songs. Where were you 35 years ago, and why weren’t you surrounded by stack of keyboards wearing a sequined gown? [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 6:23 PM PST - 117 comments

Chernobyl Today: A Creepy Story told in Pictures

Chernobyl Today: A Creepy Story told in Pictures (previously)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:32 PM PST - 26 comments

Man vs. God

Noted religious thinker Karen Armstrong and noted atheist thinker Richard Dawkins face off - sorta kinda - in the WSJ: We commissioned Karen Armstrong and Richard Dawkins to respond independently to the question "Where does evolution leave God?" Neither knew what the other would say. Here are the results. Previously.
posted by fleetmouse at 5:31 PM PST - 280 comments

More Web Magazines

The New York Review of Ideas is a web magazine reporting about New York commerce, literature and politics. The Manzine is actually £2 for the print version, but some of the its best is also online.
posted by netbros at 4:35 PM PST - 4 comments

Unique HL2 horror mod, Korsakovia

Korsakovia is a Half Life 2 mod from research driven developer The Chinese Room. It melds the abstract driven story of their previous mod, Dear Esther (previously), with more traditional gameplay. The end result is an equally distinctive horror FPS with minimal narrative cues. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 4:18 PM PST - 16 comments

To the edge of human endurance, and beyond

Jure Robič raced on bicycles in his hometown in Slovenia, skilled enough to race with small Slovene teams but nothing professionally, supporting himself with a sales job for a bike-parts dealer. It was with the death of his mother in 1997 and his subsequent depression that Robič discovered his calling: ultra-endurance cycle races, in which he competes with a methodical madness. (1 page print version, via). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:52 PM PST - 23 comments

Honduran coup regime attacks Brazil's embassy

Honduran coup regime attacks Brazil's embassy with LRAD-X Remote Long Range Acoustic Device, violating the Geneva Convention. And, to violate it a little more, they've also used a mobile cell phone jamming device.
posted by shetterly at 3:18 PM PST - 35 comments

The Mr. Olympia Contest

(all links possibly nsfw) This weekend, Jay Cutler tries to win back from Dexter Jackson the greatest prize in professional bodybuilding - the title of Mr. Olympia. [You may have heard of one of them.] [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 3:03 PM PST - 36 comments

To boost urban cycling, figure out what women want.

In part because a gender gap persists in urban cycling, women are considered an “indicator species” for bike-friendly cities. [more inside]
posted by lunit at 12:59 PM PST - 104 comments

"Hey Dario, I just got your woolly mammoth hairs in, give me a call."

Oak twig carved from dissolved recording of the heartbeat of an unborn child and the last heartbeats of a loved one, bone dust from every bone in the body, ring finger bones coated in bullet lead from various American wars, glass eyes for wounded soldiers coated with trinitite produced during the first atomic explosion, WWI cavalry boots made from a melted record of Skeeter Davis' "The End Of The World".

San Antonio-based artist (he prefers "marterialist poet") Dario Robleto crafts exquisite objects using a physical lexicon that includes bone dust, analog audio recordings, war objects and remnants of extinction. By recontextualizing these items he hopes to reverse "historical amnesia" and to reengage the past by "seeking out and sympathizing with another era's hopes and losses through its people's stories and materials." Highly influenced by music, he considers his work sampling. As he says: "you don't have to make up anything; the world is magical on its own."
posted by nathancaswell at 12:42 PM PST - 32 comments

To the Bat-pond!

Thirsty bats caught in the act! [more inside]
posted by bonehead at 12:36 PM PST - 54 comments

Pay me now, my Lord

We've covered web-based game Evony's peculiar advertising previously. Now intrepid gamers are playing/observing the thing, and finding a lack of both freeness and heaving bosoms.
posted by mippy at 10:12 AM PST - 39 comments

Ivana, the "Croatian Tolkien"

Fairy-tale author Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić (1874-1938) has been called the "Croatian Anderson", or more recently the "Croatian Tolkien", and twice nominated for a Nobel, in the 1930s, before she committed suicide. Her most famous fairy-tale collection, Croatian Tales of Long Ago (1916), was recently adapted as a flash animation, some of which can be viewed online (flash, pop-ups) in an award-winning site. The original book in English translation (1923) at Internet Archive includes some cool artwork.
posted by stbalbach at 9:12 AM PST - 9 comments

You're all drones! Especially the drones!

Jedis hate our way of life. (SLYT) (and yes, Clerks did kinda get there first.)
posted by Shepherd at 8:28 AM PST - 21 comments

What does it cost to act like a big wheel?

$20, same as in town.
posted by ottereroticist at 8:20 AM PST - 86 comments

Utopian Communes in the British Isles

Utopia Britannica is a collection of stories and a gazetter about utopian communes in the British Isles from the 14th Century up until the end of World War II. There are some incredible tales in here, such as 'Free Love' in 19th Century Somerset, St. Kilda, Death of an Island Republic, Percy Bysshe Shelley's attempted communes, Augustus John, the King of Bohemia and many more.
posted by Kattullus at 6:45 AM PST - 10 comments

Librarian Trading Cards

Librarians at the University of Rochester -- River Campus Libraries create trading cards viewable on Flickr. They apparently got the idea from the Carlton College librarians. More examples.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:33 AM PST - 47 comments

free as in beer money

Illustrating the cause of, and solution to, too much debt: [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 3:33 AM PST - 52 comments

Bootlegs ahoy

I don't know how these people got their fairly decent recording devices into a bunch of gigs... but I can guess why. [more inside]
posted by pompomtom at 3:18 AM PST - 34 comments

Don't make me sing this part of the song, the lyrics are so bad, so we're going to skip ahead — to the single ladies part instead.

Single LadiesPomplamoose (A Beyoncé Cover) [previously]
posted by nfg at 2:55 AM PST - 69 comments

Morning's Child

Somewhere, the sun is just coming up. A westward flowing chain of webcams broadcasting that moment when the sun first comes up.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:27 AM PST - 25 comments

Anyone can make music.

iNudge Is a software music toy that lets you create and share short snippets of music.
posted by empath at 12:33 AM PST - 21 comments

September 24


It Made My Day: Little moments of WIN.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:19 PM PST - 43 comments

The Terrorist Within

The Terrorist Within is an in-depth look at the story of Ahmed Ressam. There's an interesting look at the lives of Ressam and other would-be jihadis and the way the authorities dealt with the information obtained about Ressam's activities.
posted by reenum at 8:32 PM PST - 1 comment


[",'...:.?;-) [more inside]
posted by crossoverman at 8:16 PM PST - 53 comments

"It was the worst day of my life."

25 years ago today, Vicki Dunbar Nelson and Jean Hepner played the longest tournament rally in tennis history, lasting 29 minutes and 642 shots (SLNYT). [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski at 8:15 PM PST - 19 comments

G-g-g-ghost shark?

A newly identified species of Chimaera is patrolling the waters off of California and Baja California.
California has a new star, the Eastern Pacific black ghostshark. But the newly identified species prefers to stay out of the sun—and the spotlight. And with a club-like sex organ on its forehead, the male ghostshark isn't likely to get any leading man roles.
The Florida Museum of Natural History has better photos of its Australian relative.
posted by darkstar at 7:28 PM PST - 15 comments

Hipster He-Man.

It's Hipster He-Man. [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 7:17 PM PST - 50 comments

Pirates and cake? Yay!

Hey, Tower Defense fans: do you like cake? How about pirates? Want to combine the three? Just in time for (almost) Friday, it's Cake Pirates!
posted by sarcasticah at 7:15 PM PST - 11 comments

Colossal Green Volcano Rises In Italy

"A jaw-dropping feat of architecture has risen in the Italian city of Nola, just a stone’s throw away from the cataclysmic Mt. Vesuvius. Designed by Renzo Piano, Vulcano Buono is an epic cone-shaped commercial center crowned with a gorgeous sloping green roof. Piano’s 'good volcano' contributes a vital new space to the southern edge of the Nola commercial district, which is the most most important freight terminal complex in southern and central Italy."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 6:28 PM PST - 20 comments

@samantharonson are you picking me up or not? annabelle should of gotten me with you.

"Twits": dramatic readings of our most prized celebrities twitter feeds. [more inside]
posted by pwally at 4:50 PM PST - 8 comments

Or was that squeal thing you did supposed to be the crying doves? How did it go? "Aii! Aii! Aii! Aiaiaiai!" It was a massive turn-on, but it was not science.

John Moe's Pop-Song Correspondences

An Invitation to
Joni Mitchell to Sing
at the Opening of
the Tree Museum.

"Why couldn't we have just cut the trees up? Then it would have been a log museum. And we wanted a tree museum." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 4:42 PM PST - 10 comments

The Mind of Kalebu

Why are people like Isaiah Kalebu—people diagnosed with serious psychological problems and accused of violent crimes—allowed to remain free until trial? [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 4:28 PM PST - 34 comments

Creed Taylor International

The CTI never sleeps. A collection of LPs from Creed Taylor's CTI and Kudu labels, as compiled by Doug Payne.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:17 PM PST - 11 comments

University of California Budget Walkout

Thousands of students, faculty, and staff have walked out today in protest of the University of California's budget cuts. [more inside]
posted by spitefulcrow at 4:16 PM PST - 56 comments

College makes you an atheist!

Former child actor Kirk Cameron and his friend Ray (The Banana Guy) Comfort [previously] seek to distribute the "correct" (aka altered) version of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species to 50,000 students at the nation's top 50 universities as the book is soon to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Their version includes a 50-page introduction which " the history of evolution, a timeline of Darwin's life, Adolph Hitler's undeniable connection with the theory, Darwin's racism, his disdain for women, and Darwin's thoughts on the existence of God..." Cameron's promotional video for the project: 'Origin Into Schools.' A video response: "Origin of Stupidity." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 4:05 PM PST - 279 comments

COMBO - a collaborative animation

COMBO - a collaborative animation by Blu and David Ellis. Made at Fame Festival 2009.
posted by Matthias Rascher at 2:17 PM PST - 3 comments

Wonderful, cheap musical instruments

From bagpipes to xylophones, Dennis Havlena's legendary website will show you how to make musical instruments, cheaply. Some of them sound pretty good [YouTube].
posted by mecran01 at 1:41 PM PST - 20 comments

We Bite Back

Zombie World News
posted by netbros at 1:37 PM PST - 26 comments

You can only activate them in co-op mode

"When you're stupid, there's nothing that can be done." ... as we all know, YouTube is famed for having the worst comments on the internet. In this SLYT, Eric Idle responds to some of them.
posted by memebake at 1:07 PM PST - 47 comments

I found some found photos

Stateside, Wild Youth, Motor Life, Roberta's World, Memento, and Sidewalks. Six collections of found vernacular photographs from More found photos at Phoundfotographs, Accidental Mysteries, and Other People's Pictures. In the same vein as the better known (and previously posted) Shorpy and Square America.
posted by dersins at 12:45 PM PST - 7 comments

Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking lay it out, in song

A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 11:36 AM PST - 32 comments

Objects from a life.

This is my wish and no discussion or emotional tumult must come as a result.” - Much of Ingmar Bergman's personal property is up for auction. Including cars, furniture, his stereo, his awards, and yes (possibly, probably) the chess set from the Seventh Seal.
posted by HumanComplex at 11:18 AM PST - 28 comments

Anatomically Incorrect and Not Safe For Wendell

In honor of the 5th season premiere of Grey's Anatomy on ABC:

Boobicon.Me let's you make very pink "Obamacon-styled" avatars in support of a breast cancer non-profit org called the "Feel Your Boobies Foundation" (Gallery inevitably contains NSFW images).

Accidental Dong is a single-topic blog, and the topic is things that look like penises (via Inquisitr, which perfectly calls it "a blog of dicks"). NSFAnyoneNoticingResemblances

And for your non-prurient anatomical interest, here are Weird Al's Brain (as seen at various county fairs) and his Pancreas.
posted by wendell at 11:13 AM PST - 31 comments

Skip to the end

Spaced is 10. Fried gold!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:43 AM PST - 72 comments

Psychiatric Tales

Schizophrenia, a story from Darryl Cunningham's forthcoming Psychiatric Tales.
posted by Artw at 10:17 AM PST - 30 comments

Falta unas cuantas horas para el despegue! Que bonito se siente!!!

José Hernández was a migrant worker when he first started to dream about becoming an astronaut. He is the first astronaut to Twitter in Spanish from space on shuttle mission STS-128. NASA wasn't happy about the controversy he caused when he advocated for the legalization of undocumented immigrants. He is not the first Hispanic-American to fly on the space shuttle. Hernández is a national hero in Mexico and has been invited to dine with President Calderon.
posted by desjardins at 10:11 AM PST - 15 comments

The Wisdom of Salmon

Functional MRI (fMRI) is a widely used technique of brain imaging in the cognitive sciences, allowing researchers to visualize what part of the brain is responding to certain stimuli, resulting in striking images of live brains. These days, fMRI is seeing more non-research use, such as forming the basis of controversial new lie detectors. Craig Bennett, a postdoctoral researcher at UCSB, submitted a whole Atlantic salmon to fMRI analysis, and found that this fish could apparently detect, and respond to, the the emotional state of human beings (poster). Remarkable science, especially considering the salmon was dead at the time. [more inside]
posted by Rumple at 9:33 AM PST - 59 comments

A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies

"I can only talk about what has moved me or intrigued me," says filmmaker Martin Scorsese at the beginning of this four-hour documentary about his passion for U.S. cinema. "I can't really be objective here." Hallelujah! A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies is the perfect antidote to the forced and artificial doctrine of the American Film Institute's so-called 100 best films. The AFI's English cousin, the British Film Institute, did a brilliant thing in enlisting Scorsese--probably the most famous student of cinema in the U.S.--to open up and speak at length for this project about the history of artistic survival among Hollywood directors. Scorsese takes a highly intuitive and heartfelt approach in describing how a number of filmmakers--some famous and some forgotten--carefully layered their visions into their work, often against the great resistance or eccentric whims of powerful producers. Film clips are plentiful, but they are also more than window dressing for nostalgia buffs." Part 1 1:: 2:: 3:: 4:: 5:: 6:: 7:: 8 Part 2 1:: 2:: 3:: 4:: 5:: 6:: 7:: 8 Part 3 1:: 2:: 3:: 4:: 5:: 6:: 7:: 8 [more inside]
posted by vronsky at 9:16 AM PST - 32 comments

Damn, there's too much static.

No Signal - A montage of cellphones in horror movies. [more inside]
posted by flatluigi at 9:03 AM PST - 24 comments

An amazing woman

The only woman in the French Foreign Legion. A little about the fantastic life of a brave woman.
posted by Idcoytco at 9:03 AM PST - 17 comments

HIV vaccine shows promise

A new HIV vaccine is showing promising results, reducing the risk of contracting the virus by 32 percent. While further tests are still needed, the vaccine is a combination failed HIV vaccines AIDSVAX and ALVAC, based on the Canary Pox virus. The study itself faced criticism from the outset.
posted by borkencode at 8:48 AM PST - 41 comments

Dog Hates Me, a comic

Dog Hates Me is the Sam Brownyist comic ever by Sam Brown (of explodingdog fame). Expect big thick lines, bright colors, and robots. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 5:08 AM PST - 66 comments

Olympic turmoil in the Second City

On October 2, 2009, the International Olympic Committee will meet in Copenhagen to choose between Chicago, Rio de Janiero, Tokyo, and Madrid as the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics. While Chicago sends some of its most famous citizens to Copenhagen, a protest against Chicago's bid is planned at City Hall. [more inside]
posted by honeybee413 at 4:01 AM PST - 61 comments

The Boy With the Thorn in his Side

A three part profile on Glenn Beck by's Alexander Zaitchik A morality play in three acts, or, how Glenn Beck parlayed a parlayed his finely honed skills as a drug addled morning zoo shock jock, into the media force that is making America dumber by the minute. Some excellent profiling by Alexander Zaitchik of [more inside]
posted by psmealey at 3:57 AM PST - 210 comments

September 23


A 55-year-old metal detectorist has unearthed the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. [more inside]
posted by puckish at 10:32 PM PST - 100 comments

insurance companies need our support

something terrible is happening
posted by philip-random at 10:14 PM PST - 23 comments

The greatest teen exploitation flick ever, 30 years later

OVER THE EDGE: An Oral History of the Greatest Teen Rebellion Movie of All Time Vice Magazine gets Matt Dillon (it was his first movie) and a bunch of other cast and crew together for a detailed oral history of Kurt Cobain's favorite flick and "the Apocalypse Now of teen films." Buried by Orion on its original 1979 release, in part because of violence in theaters which had just shown The Warriors, it found a big cult following among kids with HBO in the early 80s. Co-writer Tim Hunter would later go on to direct River's Edge. [more inside]
posted by mediareport at 9:26 PM PST - 36 comments

Lauching a HD video camera into space using a balloon.

Lauching a HD video camera into space using a balloon. And retrieving it in one piece.
posted by Jimbob at 7:33 PM PST - 35 comments

Goldman Sachs acquiring media equity

... one wonders why [Goldman Sachs] and [JP Morgan] were so eager to provide "rescue" financings to virtually the entire distressed media space: both companies knew too well that sooner or later they would end up with full equity control over essentially the most coveted industry: thousands of TV stations, radio channels, newspaper and magazines. (via) (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 7:18 PM PST - 16 comments

U.S. Census worker found hanged in Kentucky with "FED" scrawled on his chest.

Cancer survivor, teacher, single father, and part-time U.S. Census worker Bill Sparkman was found dead September 12, hanging from a tree with the word "FED" written on his chest.
posted by zoomorphic at 6:49 PM PST - 310 comments

I can't blab such blibber blubber! My tongue isn't make of rubber.

Fox in Socks with beatbox
posted by ardgedee at 6:11 PM PST - 23 comments

Zelaya in Tegus

Zelaya's back in town. (previously)
posted by aniola at 4:28 PM PST - 21 comments

It all started with Alice...

Last month, Virginia Davis passed away at 90 years of age. She was the real life (warning: lousy formatting) little girl (warning: teh kyoot) whom Walt Disney sent into the land of cartoons, responding to the popularity of Max Fleisher's Out of the Inkwell series, which used his "rotoscope" and brought cartoon figures into filmed space. Walt reversed the formula, and found his first star.
1923: Alice's Wonderland [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:04 PM PST - 23 comments

Molecular Visualizations of DNA

Molecular Visualizations of DNA
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:48 PM PST - 54 comments

The future of the news business

The newspaper industry is facing challenges, and what might be done to ramify the situation Newspapers have been an institution for over a hundred years, but are now under threat of being undermined by the Internet and other sources. This article gives a decent background of the current crisis faced by the industry and how the industry might respond to the threats the printed paper faces.
posted by reenum at 2:48 PM PST - 38 comments

70 years of controversial magazine covers

70 years of controversial magazine covers.
posted by Matthias Rascher at 1:35 PM PST - 68 comments

The Dreyfus affair.

Trial of the Century. Revisiting the Dreyfus affair, by Adam Gopnik
posted by semmi at 1:31 PM PST - 9 comments

Do babies born in January prefer tafeta?

Does getting lucky at the prom equate to more Winter Babies? What does that mean economically?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:40 PM PST - 35 comments


Redwoods: The Super Trees. "They can grow to be the tallest trees on Earth. They can produce lumber, support jobs, safeguard clear waters, and provide refuge for countless forest species. If we let them."
posted by homunculus at 12:30 PM PST - 25 comments

McCarthy to history doomed to repeat itself?

"The Obama Haters" is a horribly inaccurate title. The article itself is a 25-years-later review of Richard Hofstadter's 1964 essay The Paranoid Style in American Politics. Reading this essay (and the Slate article today) gives rise to thought on what led to the McCarthyism that Hofstadter wrote in reaction to, and what might lie in our very near future....regarding the Obama haters.
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:06 PM PST - 73 comments

Keep It Like a Secret

Eric Holder releases newly revamped state secrets policy. In the face of a storm of recent criticisms from political commentators that President Obama's policies on state secrets privileges represent a continuation of the Bush administration's policies, the Obama administration has maintained all along that these policies were undergoing comprehensive Justice Department review, with the intent of releasing a new set of comprehensive rules governing the invocation and abuse of state secrets. Today, the Obama administration spelled out its new state secrets policy. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 11:13 AM PST - 85 comments

The futurity of science journalism?

In response to the declining quantity and quality of science journalism in U.S., a group of 35 universities have created their own online wire service called to distribute research results directly to news sites like Yahoo and Google News. [more inside]
posted by albrecht at 11:04 AM PST - 36 comments

LIFE is Good

Already hosting the LIFE Photo Archive (previously), Google today announces that it has "partnered with Life Inc. to digitize LIFE Magazine's entire run as a weekly: over 1,860 issues, covering the years from 1936 to 1972."
posted by Knappster at 10:49 AM PST - 32 comments

Truth in (French Fasion) Advertising

Campaigning MP Valérie Boyer, a member of Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party, has put forth another controversial bill to address the role of the fashion industry media in portraying healthy body images. Boyer, who wrote a government report on anorexia and obesity, is currently proposing "health warnings" on digitally altered photographs of people, stating that the image was "digitally enhanced to modify a person’s body image." The previous bill supported by Boyer and others came in April 2008, when France's lower house of parliament passed a bill that would make it a crime to promote "excessive thinness" or extreme dieting,. The bill would empower judges to punish with prison terms and fines of up to €45,000 any publication (including blogs), modeling agency, or fashion designer who "incites" anorexia. That bill, which followed closely after key members of the French fashion industry signed a government-backed charter, came under fire from fashion designers and some politicians. French fashion and politics weren't at the front of this effort, with Madrid's fashion week turning away underweight models in 2006, facing concerns that girls and young women were trying to copy their rail-thin looks and developing eating disorders.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:40 AM PST - 37 comments

Censorship will be enforced - There will be no talk of shamans, of yoga classes, nutritional values, herbal teas, discovering your Boundaries, and Inner Growth.

The Rogue Film School is not for the faint-hearted, it is for those who have travelled on foot, who have worked as bouncers in sex clubs or as wardens in a lunatic asylum, for those who are willing to learn about lock-picking or forging shooting permits in countries not favouring their projects. In short: it is for those who have a sense for poetry. For those who are pilgrims. For those who can tell a story to four-year-old children and hold their attention. For those who have a fire burning within. For those who have a dream. Learn film with Werner Herzog.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:36 AM PST - 36 comments

Long live The New flesh!

"All of which is a long way of saying that, to construct a new church of anatomical horror and to do so out of stone, as Al-Mehdari seems to be suggesting, is a fascinating idea. " - Body Baroque
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM PST - 22 comments

Lose/Lose: The Game That Deletes Your Files

"Lose/Lose is a video-game with real life consequences. Each alien in the game is created based on a random file on the player's computer. If the player kills the alien, the file it is based on is deleted. If the players ship is destroyed, the application itself is deleted." via
posted by Plutor at 9:24 AM PST - 102 comments

Microsoft have the Bestest Ads

Microsoft attempt to recreate the magic of the Songsmith commercial (previously) with Windows 7 Launch Parties
posted by minifigs at 7:44 AM PST - 174 comments

Stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive, if you can.

Happy 60th birthday, Bruce! [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 3:48 AM PST - 89 comments


posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:11 AM PST - 78 comments

September 22

Journalism - ethics + activism = propaganda

Mark Bowden tells us "The Story Behind the Story" in the October issue of The Atlantic: "With journalists being laid off in droves, ideologues have stepped forward to provide the “reporting” that feeds the 24-hour news cycle. The collapse of journalism means that the quest for information has been superseded by the quest for ammunition. A case-study of our post-journalistic age." [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 11:21 PM PST - 62 comments

Homelessness in Sydney

"I always had this picture in my head a homeless person is they're got torn dirty clothes, they're not shaven, they're, they're sort of sitting in the corner you know waiting for a handout and that was my and to think that - I'm not in that category - but I don't have a home for my family."
A report from Australia's Four Corners documentary TV show looking into homeless families in Western Sydney. Link has video and a transcript, plus background info.
posted by bystander at 10:38 PM PST - 31 comments

True Love

The True Love Project — People are exhorted to "say cheese" for the camera so their faces will approximate a happy look. Other emotional states, such as love, are far more complex and not easily photographed. Love is intimate and deeply personal, and its expression may be hard to share in a staged setting. Hypnosis opens a pathway into the unconscious, the neurological realm of emotional memory. In TRUE LOVE a group of volunteers worked with a professional hypnotist to reach, in trance, a point where they were able to visualize the camera as a beloved person. The resulting images captured people who were actually in love with the camera.
posted by netbros at 9:14 PM PST - 41 comments

Life on Mars

Amazing photos of the currently raging Sydney dust storm.
posted by togdon at 8:20 PM PST - 78 comments

Top shelf Lego

CUBEDUDES ...dig into Pixar Animator Angus Maclane's Lego figurine photostream.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:40 PM PST - 16 comments

Green Flash, not lantern

Green flash at sunset, last day of summer. They occur every night, but are too fast and/or faint for us to see. They also don't just occur over water. There are apparently 2 main types. Sometimes they're one big blob, sometimes on the edge & sometimes a hovering blob over the sun. Previously. [via]
posted by yoga at 5:59 PM PST - 21 comments

Bernie Fuchs, Illustrator

Bernie Fuchs, one of the all-time greats of American illustration, has passed away. [more inside]
posted by Bron at 5:11 PM PST - 15 comments

The fascinating world of conservation

Biohistorical researchWax engravingThe Thinker after the bombAlfred Stieglitz's palladium photographsTibetan bronzes with interior contentsThe examination and treatment of a pair of boots from the Aleutian Islands — A small sample of the articles available from the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (JAIC).
posted by tellurian at 4:31 PM PST - 8 comments

Jean Renoir

Parle De Son Art "Jean Renoir Interviewed by French New Wave director - Jaques Rivette - about the technical progress in art. The dangers of realism and perfectionism related to the the technical advances in cinema." In this short interview (15mins.) Renoir considers such questions as "What if our tendency to imitate nature is simply a tendency towards ugliness?" and "Why is it that when technique is primitive everything is beautiful, and when technique is perfected almost everything is ugly?" In French with subtitles.
posted by vronsky at 3:25 PM PST - 12 comments

Super chilly and super tough 2D flash biking game

Icycle is a flash game about a naked man, a bicycle, and the end of the world. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 3:15 PM PST - 46 comments

Relationship violence as art

Apache (a-POSH) dancing (French, not Native American), popular in Paris in the early parts of the 20th century, pitted a male and a female dancer against each other in over-the-top--and sometimes hawt--mock violence. [more inside]
posted by gillyflower at 2:24 PM PST - 24 comments

Sex, bribes and videotape

FBI whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, has gone on record with her allegations of government corruption and treason. (previously)
posted by ryoshu at 2:01 PM PST - 98 comments


Mountain Light is the latest beautiful time-lapse video from Tom at Timescapes. A little behind the scenes showing his dolly and camera setup in action. Check out his other videos, or follow him on Twitter.
posted by knave at 12:36 PM PST - 18 comments

Shakespeare in music

Amazing to see how differently Shakespeare's work has been dealt with in music: there is Jerry Lee Lewis doing a blues on Othello. David Gilmour, former Pink Floyd lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, turned Sonnet 18 into a touchingly beautiful ballad. The Metal Shakespeare Company wrote a heavy metal song about Hamlet (III/1), "To bleed or not to bleed". And yes, there is Shakespeare rap, too: William Shatner (the very same!) raps about Caesar and British rapper Akala thinks he is a reincarnation of the bard. Last but not least, the Beatles tried their luck at Shakespeare, too (no music this time): they did a skit on the famous Pyramus and Thisbe scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream (very rare footage!).
posted by Matthias Rascher at 12:25 PM PST - 37 comments

mp3s' rotten fidelity - the proof

Researcher John Meyer has devised an objective index demonstrating that mp3s offer far lower fidelity than either vinyl LPs or standard CDs. And yet this eight-year study at Stanford University shows that prolonged exposure to mp3s leads young listeners to prefer the format. No wonder record producers are despairing.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:03 PM PST - 98 comments

Torture Produces False Memories and Bad Intel

Torturing the brain (PDF). Extreme pain and stress can actually impair a person's ability to tell the truth. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:52 AM PST - 28 comments

We are, yeah I said it, we are

Comedian Affion Crockett, most remembered for appearing on MTV's "Wild 'n Out"and for his impressions of Jay-Z, manages to play Jay, Kanye and Chris Brown in a spoof of Jay-Z's song with Rihanna, "Run This Town".
posted by cashman at 11:28 AM PST - 15 comments

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest on Youtube

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest on Youtube. Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest had a short run (38 episodes) in the mid '60s, but it included many great folk artists. If you love folk, just click here and start sampling. Where else will you find Kim Loy Wong & the Hi-Landers Steel Band performing "When the Saints Go Marching In", or the Mamou Cajun Band, or Paul Draper's surreal dance improvisation to "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around", or Theodore Bikel and Rashid Hussain singing "Peace"?
posted by shetterly at 10:40 AM PST - 9 comments

'1976 Taxi Driver came out. Got Cunted'

Nick Love and Danny Dyer Outlaw commentary highlights. (NSFW swearfest) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:20 AM PST - 18 comments

Get your Saturday morning on

Saturday morning cartoons were once a staple of American television, but by the year 2000 they had all but disappeared. Of course, the Internet never forgets. Case in point: Cartoon Network Video -- a free, searchable, ad-supported service that provides hundreds of full-length episodes of classic shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and The Powerpuff Girls, as well as current offerings and scads of shorter material. Too recent for you? Then give Kids WB Video a whirl -- it does the same thing with the same interface, but for older programs like Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Thundercats, and the original Space Ghost. If you're in the mood to learn (and don't mind some live-action), PBS Kids Video has educational fare such as Arthur, Wishbone, and Zoom. And don't forget about Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, The Magic Schoolbus and Schoolhouse Rock! Now if only we had some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs...
posted by Rhaomi at 9:27 AM PST - 160 comments

Are Peace Negotiations in the Cards?

Are Peace Negotiations hosted by Russia and France in the cards? Today, President Obama is meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu and the Palestian Authority's Abbas and then hosting a three-way meeting with both leaders. Officially all parties claim they have "low expectations." [more inside]
posted by Ironmouth at 9:18 AM PST - 38 comments

Long Form Journalism on Secret London, Murder Ballads, and other topics of interest

What do Cliff Edwards (1928), Lloyd Price (circa 1959), The Rulers (1967), R.L. Burnside (late 1980s/ early 1990s), Grateful Dead (live in 1993), and Nick Cave (live in 1996) have in common? If nothing else, they all sang some variation of the crime of Lee Shelton, also known as Stack O'Lee, Stagolee, Stack-a-Lee , Stackerlee, Stagger Lee and other names, with as many variations in the details of that fateful night. Join MeFite Paul Slade with his journalistic narrations of murder ballads, tales of Secret London (previously), and other works of long-form journalism (which may or may not be ideal for the web, previously). [via mefi projects; more clips and bits inside] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:17 AM PST - 29 comments

She Don't Want To Change The World

British pop star Lily Allen recently posted a Myspace blog entry explaining her view that file sharing is a disaster as it is making it harder and harder for new acts to emerge. [more inside]
posted by motty at 9:07 AM PST - 336 comments

Nuts are we

After a career lasting almost four decades, Chas and Dave - the musical act who made a surprisingly long chart career out of naff reversionings of cockney pub songs, even playing Glastonbury in 2007 - have split. Please enjoy: Snooker Loopy. Gertcha. Rabbit. And for extra fun, the glitchcore remix of Snooker Loopy
posted by mippy at 8:39 AM PST - 21 comments

Fou to You

Fou Magazine's panda-themed third issue ("Best not viewed with IE. Best viewed with bamboo."), released Monday, combines gorgeous web-design with equally gorgeous poetry. [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:50 AM PST - 7 comments

"The world's most famous missing person."

"The unburied come back to haunt us." On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan took off from Lae, Papua New Guinea (map) in their Lockheed Electra en route to Howland Island (map). They were never seen again. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 6:11 AM PST - 25 comments

MacArthur grants announced

$500,000. Five years. No strings attached. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced the 24 recipients of its 2009 "genius grants."
posted by oinopaponton at 6:10 AM PST - 64 comments

Job Voyager

Job Voyager: a data visualization tool for US occupations as a percentage of the labor pool, 1850-2000. (Stream graphs previously)
posted by OmieWise at 5:37 AM PST - 17 comments

Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe wasn't all it appeared to be

First Zimbabwe formally abandoned their currency, then received assistance from The IMF, and now now we're seeing inflation in that nation easing to an acceptable rate of 0.04% per month. So it's fair to ask, is hyperinflation in Zimbabwe is a thing of the past? [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 4:58 AM PST - 19 comments

Netflix gives up $1M software prize

The winners of the prize - for software 10% better at recommending movies than Netflix own Cinemax - were a team described here back in June. They beat another team by getting their results in 20 minutes earlier. Netflix was happy: “You look at the cumulative hours and you’re getting Ph.D.’s for a dollar an hour.” - so happy they're offering two new $half-million prizes.

No mention yet whether there's been any progress on the "Napolean Dynamite problem" ... the movies it's hard to predict your reaction to.
When Bertoni showed me a list of his 25 most-difficult-to-predict movies, I noticed they were all similar in some way to “Napoleon Dynamite” — culturally or politically polarizing and hard to classify, including “I Heart Huckabees,” “Lost in Translation,” “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou,” “Kill Bill: Volume 1” and “Sideways.”
posted by Twang at 2:32 AM PST - 95 comments

The Meta punk/mech/noiac/poli/naut/phage/droid/bot/blade/tron/nancer/War/not Filter

The Electro-Plasmic Hydrocephalic Genre-Fiction Generator is the latest inspired creation of Wondermark's David Malki! (exclamation mark his), a slight departure from his usual victorian clip-art comedy (previously) to a wordier bit of satire/inspiration/wackiness/wit/archetyping/talking fish.

Speaking of webcomics and formulas, the "young woman inexplicably transported to a totally weird alternate universe" scenario is being used differently - but successfully masterfully - by THREE different artists: Ramon Perez's Kukuburi, Eldon Cowgur's Astray3 and Michael Lee Lunsford's Supernormal Step (links to the beginnings of the stories... because you gotta). I'm rather surprised the Pirannhamoose has not yet appeared in any of these, especially since Astray3 has featured every other creature you can imagine (or have nightmares about) in its first year. [more inside]
posted by wendell at 1:57 AM PST - 8 comments

kiss kiss

a collection of kisses.
posted by Anonymous at 12:04 AM PST - 18 comments

September 21

a BRANDO in the life

Single Link Marlon Brando Beatles Mashup
posted by philip-random at 11:07 PM PST - 12 comments

"We close at 5"

Charles Hood, sentenced to death for a double murder committed in 1989, is currently fighting for his conviction to be overturned and subsequent death sentenced to be stayed. Why? Because the lead prosecutor and judge were having an alleged affair at the time of the trial. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, no strangers to controversy regarding the possible misuse of the death penalty, declined to hear the petition lodged by Hood's lawyers regarding the fairness of the trial saying the defense should have brought the issue up at trial despite the lack of evidence towards the allegations until recently. [more inside]
posted by Talez at 10:12 PM PST - 42 comments

Tajik Jimmy is the new Susan Boyle

Tajik Jimmy is the new Susan Boyle. Baimurat Allaberiyev, a diminutive native of Tajikistan, can perform Bollywood show-stoppers as a one-man band, equipped with nothing but an uncanny falsetto and a metal bucket. More of his story here. Here is the original song from the 1983 Bollywood musical Disco Dancer. Previously.
posted by Daddy-O at 9:02 PM PST - 12 comments

The XKCD Puzzle

XKCD author Randall Munroe appears to have left a neat little cryptographic puzzle for Reddit users in his new book. They're trying to decipher it.
posted by zarq at 7:47 PM PST - 44 comments

That's just normal oxidation.

Removing 600 kilos of enriched U-235: the story of how, in 1994, the United States secretly removed from Kazakhstan enough purified uranium to make 24 nuclear weapons. (Full article with one photo.) Russian bomb-grade uranium is now being used in U.S. power plants.
posted by exogenous at 6:52 PM PST - 50 comments

Oh, No, Eddie Spaghetti: Old School Stanley Cup Reenactors

The NHL, the way it was meant to be seen: "Relive the Pittsburgh Penguins 1991 Stanley Cup Finals clinching game 6 victory in a dramatic reenactment through a pixelated prism. All the goals, the calls by Mike Lange, and the Stanley Cup celebration are replicated in this 18 minute video of game play action. The broadcast audio is of the actual game, synchronized to the heroics of sprite based hall of famers like Mario Lemieux, Joe Mullen, Paul Coffey, Bryan Trottier, and the rest of the full team rosters." (Takes a minute or so for the action to really get started.)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:40 PM PST - 26 comments

Architecture through the cinematographic lens. The visual fusion between the third and the seventh arts.

The "Third&Seventh" project is "A full-CG animated piece that tries to illustrate architecture art across a photographic point of view where main subjects are already-built spaces." In other words, Alex Roman has created a series of CG images and short films, based on real places (like this short film that depicts Louis Kahn's library at Phillips Exeter Academy), with a remarkable level of realism and beauty. (via)
posted by ocherdraco at 4:25 PM PST - 5 comments

Saturn Equinox

Cassini Reveals New Ring Quirks, Shadows During Saturn Equinox. "It's like putting on 3-D glasses and seeing the third dimension for the first time," said Bob Pappalardo, Cassini project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "This is among the most important events Cassini has shown us." Latest press images.
posted by netbros at 4:17 PM PST - 30 comments

Sir Henry at Rawlinson End

A complete Album/CD on Youtube... but without any actual video.

...Mercifully, Henry hit him with the soft end of the pistol. Scrotum sprawled on the parquet flooring, and Henry strode back to the window and took aim at the hang glider, now several hundred yards past the lime trees and fast diminishing...

Parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Sir Henry at Rawlinson End (link to Transcript) By Vivian Stanshall
posted by selton at 3:36 PM PST - 18 comments

Wouldn't Ableton be easier to use?

How To: Creating 'Smack My Bitch Up"
posted by flatluigi at 3:27 PM PST - 44 comments

Gates of Heaven

Clips from the Errol Morris documentary Gates of Heaven which Roger Ebert named one of the ten best films of all time. Lady in the Doorway ll Music Man ll Gates of Heaven ll Couples Scene ll Humans cannot be this way ll Say it out loud
posted by vronsky at 2:20 PM PST - 29 comments

Even more Kitty Wigs?

Glamourpuss? In case you didn't get enough the first time around (previously on MeFi), now there's a whole book of cats in wigs with "snappy captions". Spotted on the cover of this week's Publisher's Weekly. I think my cat is hiding.
posted by sparky at 2:02 PM PST - 12 comments

Perry Bible Fellowship does Wes Anderson

The Cloud Photographers : "an artificial Wes Anderson soundtrack" by Nicholas Gurewitch, of Perry Bible Fellowship fame (previously). Also has an interview with Gurewitch about the soundtrack and the story of The Cloud Photgraphers. More recently, Gurewitch is featured in Marvel Strange Tales. Two scans (scans about as NSFW as the median PBF comic) on the Truth and Beauty Bombs comics forum (via Dinosaur Comics).
posted by skynxnex at 12:47 PM PST - 18 comments

Scientists Catch Giant Squid Off Louisiana Coast

Scientists have captured a 19.5-foot, 103-pound giant squid off the coast of Louisiana, only the second known giant squid caught in the Gulf of Mexico since 1954. Previously & previously.
posted by brundlefly at 12:34 PM PST - 52 comments

This Much I Know

In The Guardian's This Much I Know, celebrities share the lessons they have learned in life. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:33 AM PST - 52 comments

"Meet the Afghan Army: Is It a Figment of Washington's Imagination?"

"Meet the Afghan Army: Is It a Figment of Washington's Imagination?"
posted by Joe Beese at 11:25 AM PST - 55 comments

Immigration or Robots?

Japan is facing a demographic crisis that will shrink the population dramatically. The Japanese aren't having babies, and the country won't accept immigrants to help bolster the population. Japan: Robot Nation looks at a uniquely Japanese solution. [more inside]
posted by Extopalopaketle at 10:50 AM PST - 55 comments

It's like that one summer in the garage

We know they can rock, but can they shred? (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by ryoshu at 10:40 AM PST - 21 comments

"This is a little different of a rebellion."

Max Blumenthal writes about Matthew Murray in the Nation article 'The Nightmare of Christianity'. [more inside]
posted by soelo at 10:30 AM PST - 30 comments

I've got a box full of letters, think you might like to read

Letters of Note reproduces and transcribes letters from the famous, the infamous, and the not-so-famous.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:08 AM PST - 7 comments

Novel Graphics

"A few months ago, I got an email from Paul Buckley, the wonderful art director at Penguin Classics, who asked if I wanted to illustrate a book cover for him..." Illustrator Michael Cho on designing a cover for Don Delillo's White Noise as part of the Penguin Graphic Classics series, in which prominent comic artists and illustrators create covers for literary classics. All the covers can be found in this flickr set, including Daniel Clowes’s Frankenstein, Candide illustrated by Chris Ware, and Frank Miller's (kind of disappointing) cover for Gravity's Rainbow.
posted by dersins at 10:00 AM PST - 23 comments

Me & Mrs. Palin

After Tripp was born, Sarah would pay more attention to our son than she would to her own baby, Trig. Sarah has a weird sense of humor. When she came home from work, Bristol and I would be holding Trig and Tripp. Sarah would call Trig—who was born with Down syndrome—'my little Down’s baby.' But I couldn’t believe it when she would come over to us and sometimes say, playing around, 'No, I don’t want the retarded baby—I want the other one,' and pick up Tripp. That was just her—even her kids were used to it.
posted by Zambrano at 8:59 AM PST - 224 comments

Artis Gilmore, best hoopster denied HOF entry

Basketball doesn't have baseball's numerous simmering controversies over Hall of Fame inductees, but the greatest basketball player denied enshrinement may be 11-time ABA and NBA All Star center Artis Gilmore. At 7-foot-2 plus 4 inches for his towering afro, they called him "The A-Train" for his powerful but unpretentious play, and today on his 60th birthday he still owns career records in the NCAA (22.7 rebounds per game) and NBA (59.9% field goal percentage). OK, I only posted this so I could link to these three photos. [more inside]
posted by planetkyoto at 8:55 AM PST - 12 comments

Richard and Mimi Fariña.

Richard and Mimi Fariña. I doubt I'll ever forget his song, Bold Marauder, or his cult novel, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me. He and Mimi, Joan Baez's sister, made three fine albums before his tragic death. Youtube has a live version of "Bold Marauder." Also, a nice cover by Kendra Smith, and a fanvid for the pirate romance, "Frenchman's Creek," using a cover by John Kay of Steppenwolf.
posted by shetterly at 8:55 AM PST - 13 comments

You name the day, the grounds could be neutral

"The key to the internet's success has been its openness. But the FCC needs your help. That is why we have created [beta]. I hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity to share your ideas on (net neutrality)." FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Monday outlined his plan for requiring Internet service providers to keep their networks open to legal content and external devices. Some are enthused. The large telecommunications companies who could profit, are not.
posted by cashman at 8:54 AM PST - 28 comments

The Concept of Internal Cohabitation

Each person has one mind, right? Wrong, according to the Concept of Internal Cohabitation - we are all born with two autonomous, sentient minds. One of them can think rationally and relate to other people, and one of them is fundamentally negative in outlook, and opposed to relating. Both minds watch the world through our senses, but compete for control of the body. But if this is indeed the case, why is it not common knowledge? How could such a fundamental aspect of human nature go unnoticed for so long? [more inside]
posted by memebake at 8:36 AM PST - 73 comments

Great photographers

Great photographers: Clark Little (surf photography), Nick Brandt (mostly African wildlife), John Hyde (mostly wildlife and Alaska), Veronika Pinke (landscapes), Dale Allman (miscellaneous; particularly beautiful are his Australian cityscapes and the HDR/DRI photos), Ansel Adams (the undisputed master of nature photography who died in 1984; famous quotes: "You don't take a photograph, you make it.", "A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words. "), Michel Rajkovic (mostly marine landscape, exclusively in black and white). And again, as a tribute to a gifted artist who died far too early, the work of Bobby Model (adventure photographer). Last but not least: Onexposure, probably the biggest collection of quality photography on the net.
posted by Matthias Rascher at 8:28 AM PST - 9 comments

The fake truth

NY Post Special Global Warming Edition (courtesy of The Yes Men). Thousands of hard copies hit the streets of New York at the crack of dawn.
posted by hellbient at 8:06 AM PST - 33 comments


"Portroids are Polaroid portraits taken of people I know (friends, family, and acquaintances) or know of (celebrities). I have them autograph in the blank white space prior to the Polaroid developing. This is a list of all* the people I have portroided. (*not all)"
posted by not_on_display at 5:35 AM PST - 17 comments

Folded Paper Sculptures

Polyscene--Folded paper, and paper and wire, sculptures. There are more in the artist's Flickr stream.
posted by OmieWise at 4:59 AM PST - 5 comments

One space after the period, please.

Read Between the Leading, is a podcast for those with a love of good design and typography hosted by two students from SCAD. Season two just started with an interview with brand designer, David Airey, previous episodes of RBtL include discussions on information visualization, the future of web design with Jason Santa Maria (previously), speculative work and why graphic design is serious business (previously). [more inside]
posted by thebestsophist at 12:32 AM PST - 3 comments

The Jet-Propelled Couch

In 1954, Harper's Magazine ran a story called the Jet-Propelled Couch (Part 2) about a government scientist who was forced to go into to treatment. His problem? He lived half his life on another planet:
“As I read about the adventures of Kirk Allen in these books the conviction began to grow on me that the stories were not only true to the very last detail but that they were about me. In some weird and inexplicable way I knew that what I was reading was my biography. Nothing in these books was unfamiliar to me: I recognized everything–the scenes, the people, the furnishings of rooms, the events, even the words that were spoken. My everyday life began to recede at this point. In fact, it became fiction–and, as it did, the books became my reality.”
Ever since the story was published, sci-fi fans have attempted to discover who Kirk Allen really was. One theory is that it was cleverly disguised Cordwainer Smith, others think there may have been a government physicist named John Carter, and some think he might have been more than one patient. Either way, it's a great story. [via] [more inside]
posted by empath at 12:15 AM PST - 28 comments

September 20

In Debt We Trust

A government stimulus can overwhelm the impact of a credit crunch, and the innate dynamic of a productive economy can re-assert itself after such a crisis, leading to renewed growth. But this not merely a crisis of liquidity. It is one of excessive private debt, on a scale that is also unprecedented. Economist Steve Keen on the global debt bubble. [more inside]
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 11:30 PM PST - 55 comments

Knowing who you're writing for and why you're writing might be the most crucial factor of all

Before the Internet came along, most Americans never wrote anything, ever, that wasn't a school assignment. — Clive Thompson describes the results of the Stanford Study of Writing, mainly that young people today write far more than any generation before them.
posted by blasdelf at 10:31 PM PST - 102 comments

“If I spit, they will take my spit and frame it as great art.” ~ Picasso

Neurosonics Audiomedical Laboratory
posted by bigmusic at 8:18 PM PST - 3 comments

Ulrich von Liechtenstein of Gelderland would not be pleased

Q: Which was the last country in Europe to establish diplomatic relations with the Czech Republic?
A: Liechtenstein. [more inside]
posted by djgh at 7:33 PM PST - 18 comments

The best film of all time just got a little better...

The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended. Here on the Equator, in the continent which would one day be known as Africa, the battle for existence had reached a new climax of ferocity, and the victor was not yet in sight. In this barren and desiccated land, only the small or the swift or the fierce could flourish, or even hope to survive.

The man-apes of the veldt were none of these things, and they were not flourishing...
posted by felix betachat at 3:45 PM PST - 32 comments

Space Lego!

Pre-Classic Space , Classic Space, Neo-Classic Space. - Creative Space Lego Design!
posted by sciurus at 12:01 PM PST - 41 comments

Bubble Nebula

Reprocess of Bubble Nebula Data. NGC 7635, also called the Bubble Nebula, is an emission nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. It's created by stellar winds from a superhot star 40 times the size of our sun which whip the cloud of gas around the star into a bubble. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:44 AM PST - 17 comments

Sugar Pie DeSanto

Sugar Pie DeSanto says, "I like to sing blues, R&B, and pop and I think I do them pretty well". [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 11:21 AM PST - 13 comments

[Note to all my MeFi friends: your post is one of the latter.]

Tim Kreider, known to MeFi for his cartoons and essays is now regularly contributing to the Happy Days blog at NYT. His latest essay The Referendum has what you'd expect of a cartoonist, mastery of the one and two liner and getting to a relevant point quickly.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:32 AM PST - 25 comments

transcendental numbers rumble in the technium

How did life arise? What is information? In his recent dispatches from The Technium, Kevin Kelly would say extropy (cf. negentropy & Prigogine). [previously 1|2]
posted by kliuless at 8:00 AM PST - 70 comments

Facebook outing

It started as a simple term project for an MIT class on ethics and law on the electronic frontier. Using data from the social network Facebook, they made a striking discovery: just by looking at a person’s online friends, they could predict whether the person was gay.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:23 AM PST - 78 comments

Somebody's Watching Me Kill Vampires

Have you ever listened to Rockwell's 1984 smash hit song "Somebody's Watching Me" and realize that it needs more Castlevania? Relax. It's been handled.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:21 AM PST - 15 comments

Planetary gear

posted by twoleftfeet at 3:14 AM PST - 23 comments

фантомски дискови!

1979 .Belgrade. A white Porsche 911. A natural born driver. A brutal secret police force. The same city square every night for 2 weeks. The Belgrade Phantom - one hell of a story. [more inside]
posted by concreteforest at 2:23 AM PST - 38 comments

September 19

'The Human Animal,' by Desmond Morris

The Human Animal - a brilliant BBC mini-series documentary by zoologist Desmond Morris that takes an extended look at the curious creatures known as Homo sapiens. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on Google videos. Beautiful and fascinating.
posted by grillcover at 7:44 PM PST - 38 comments


Usagino U (ukulele, lead vocal) and Kumano 900 (ukulele, pianica, theremin, bongos) play American surf rock in Japan -- Isogabamaware ll Diamond Head ll Crazy G
posted by vronsky at 7:02 PM PST - 11 comments

Peter Pan

The wedding. We talked about him, we talked about the engagement, how did we miss the wedding?
posted by HuronBob at 6:53 PM PST - 69 comments

K-E-Y! Y? Because We Will Bury You

Exactly 50 years ago today, Soviet Premier and Cold War Villain Nikita Khrushchev was denied a visit to Disneyland. He was in Southern California as part of a cross-country tour of the U.S.A.* (Can you imagine an enemy of the US doing that today?). The reasons for the denial? Security Logistics and Time Limitations (you have to devote a whole day for The Magic Kingdom). Instead, he visited a sound stage at 20th Century Fox (shooting "Can Can") and a housing development in a San Fernando Valley suburb. The next day, he got a warmer, but semi-stunned, reception in San Luis Obispo, CA. Not the only place that welcomed him. Farmers in Coon Rapids, Iowa were happy to show off American agriculture in an event recently commemorated.
*Look Inside book at Amazon link for more content. Also lots more coverage in the L.A. Times' Nostalgia Blog)
posted by wendell at 4:52 PM PST - 31 comments

Journey to the Center of the Earth, indie game edition

Journey to the Center of the Earth - or DonDon (?) is an excellent exploration-based platformer game with fabulous little pixel graphics and a solid 45 minutes or so of gameplay. Think Diet Spelunky, or La Mulana Lite. A little more info and hints at Indie Games Blog.

Sorry, Windows only (direct link). F4 for fullscreen (but it's better in 1x windowed mode)
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:43 PM PST - 6 comments

RIP Bobby Model

Bobby Model, brilliant adventure photographer, died Wednesday, September 16, 2009, at the age of 36. Here are some examples of his beautiful work.
posted by Matthias Rascher at 3:39 PM PST - 18 comments

wide-eyed camera obscura

Every week, two holes are released. The cardboard camera obscura they belong to travels from one participant of the project to the next, both take their picture on the same sheet of film, juxtaposing (and partly blending) two places somewhere in the world. Over the weeks and years, in an ongoing and potentially infinite process, a collective world-wide photographic artwork is arising: Camera Obscura 1-∞ (paying homage, as the artists state, to Roman Opalka's lifelong project "Counted Paintings: 1965 / 1 – ∞"). It offers some exquisite binocularism with fairly wide eye-distance: New York/Berlin; Leipzig/Cologne; Melbourne/Stuttgart.
posted by megob at 3:34 PM PST - 8 comments

Rammstein is not a subtle band (NSFW)

Rammstein's Pussy (video, really NSFW, SLnYT) gets right to the point. Youtube has taken down uploads. Facebook has taken down links (though not Links). Here's a fan-created censored version (NSFW lyrics). [more inside]
posted by zippy at 12:58 PM PST - 169 comments

Does not compute

Sex with robots is always wrong A strange speculative fiction morality play in one act. (other sexy robots NSFW)
posted by device55 at 12:56 PM PST - 59 comments

Don't trust Belgians!

The lost town of Goverthing. On Governor's Island in New York City, a lost hamlet and all of its strange artifacts has been unearthed by Belgian archeological team. (Unfortunately, it's really just an art project.)
posted by fungible at 11:44 AM PST - 13 comments

Oh, Rom...

Rom: Spaceknight was an improbable comics success: Based on a toy series that consisted of one figure (Rom), the comics series debuted in 1979 and lasted an unlikely 75 issues, featuring art from such luminaries as P. Craig Russell and Steve Ditko (previously, previously and previously). The series was written by Marvel Comics mainstay Bill Mantlo, who retired from comics and became a public defender (the legal kind), only to suffer a tragic accident in the mid-1990s that left him in need of constant medical attention. A 2007 benefit for the writer -- Spacenight: A Tribute to Bill Mantlo -- will be followed by Spacenight 2, an auction of original Rom-related artwork that can be viewed here.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:39 AM PST - 32 comments

The First Ripples of the Silver Tsunami

Nearly 1 in 5 young adults is out of work. Student debt is the highest its ever been. With a 10 year job growth of negative 230,000 jobs, the pool of available jobs is the lowest its ever been as a ratio to available college grads. And even with this dwindling tax base, in order to sustain Medicare and Social Security by 2020, we will need to tax 1.5 workers for every retiree. [more inside]
posted by Acromion at 11:18 AM PST - 83 comments

Design Do's and Don'ts

The Design Cubicle articles focus on design tips and resources on all subjects of design; ranging from print, web, logo, branding, advertising and marketing. Popular articles include 10 Common Typography Mistakes and understanding the importance of good type skills; and 12 Common Photoshop Mistakes and Malpractice. The strategies behind designing a successful and memorable logo involve a process which progresses through various stages of listening, research, development, feedback and changes. 11 Steps of a Successful Logo Design Process.
posted by netbros at 11:16 AM PST - 4 comments

Decorated Taters

Garth Johnson of Extreme Craft may finally help us understand what hardcore taters look like. (SFW) [more inside]
posted by fontophilic at 10:16 AM PST - 9 comments

Smartly, me lassies and lads...

"Arrr!" Avast me hearties! 'Tis that day come 'round again. "Tis ye International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Bring me a noggin of rum, now, won't ye, me matey and celebrate the day. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 9:55 AM PST - 59 comments

Cobra Mk 3

This month marks the 25th aniversary of Elite, the groundbreaking 3D space trading game. The making of Elite. More on the making of Elite from The Backroom Boys. Emulate the original BBC Micro version. The Dark Wheel.
posted by Artw at 9:51 AM PST - 29 comments

Griddleville, Population: ∞

Your Saturday Morning Cartoon: Chik Parm Spag in Griddleville
posted by saguaro at 9:42 AM PST - 6 comments

Maybe not getting out of jail for free, but certainly a big help.

The history of Monopoly has been a long one, but the game also helped change history through its participation in providing hidden maps and tools to help British POWs during WWII.
posted by NoraCharles at 6:47 AM PST - 35 comments

mapping the recession

Recession Road Trip
Similar to Andrew Sullivan's Views From Your Recession & Sickbed, Christina Davidson has been touring across the country collecting and documenting individuals' tales of how the recession is affecting them, such as in Full Grown Boy Lost, in Las Vegas.
posted by kliuless at 6:00 AM PST - 12 comments

September 18

girl group mania

Korean girl groups dominated the Korean music charts this summer - Brown Eyed Girls cast a spell with Abracadabra, Girls' Generation is your Genie, 2NE1 is on Fire, 4Minute turn up the Muzik, T-ara Lies. [more inside]
posted by needled at 8:44 PM PST - 31 comments

Beelzebub has some music set aside for you

The Kleptones put together a version of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody stitched together from 33 different cover versions. Synthesizers, computer-generated voices, acoustic guitar, accordion, Weird Al, Star Trek.... (Direct MP3 link) [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 6:35 PM PST - 50 comments

You see this marshmallow? You don’t have to eat it. You can wait. Here’s how.

In the late 1960s, Walter Mischel conducted a series of experiments on delayed gratification in preschoolers that became known as the Marshmallow Test. A recent New Yorker article talks about the eventual path that his research took and its wider implications. New research points to specific differences in brain activity between people with good self control and people with poor self control. Promising scientific findings aside, it's the (adorable) movie re-enactment of the marshmallow tests that is making news recently.
posted by hindmost at 6:30 PM PST - 47 comments

Some "bloody design consistency" on the Underground

Eiichi’s self-confessed shock is now hopefully more understandable – he was not simply being asked to rework an old typeface, he was being asked to touch up an acknowledged “Old Master.” Johnstone Sans - A Typeface for the Underground. [more inside]
posted by badrolemodel at 4:33 PM PST - 25 comments

It’s on and on and on on and on like the hot butter on the what? Popcorn!

Mark Skillz, hip hop historian of a sort and an occasional writer for Wax Poetics, represents the old school of hip hop and lets others tell their stories on Hip Hop 101A. From Eddie Cheba recalling his time as a top DJ in the small world of hip hop in 1977, to the life of Sparky D, who took up the good fight for UTFO and started the Roxanne Wars, one of hip hop's first rap battles. Read up on the fall of funk and the rise of Planet Rock, and reminisce with Reggie Wells about the birth of hip hop from black club deejays in Manhattan who were refining a slick style of talk over disco records to open hip hop jams in the park. As a bonus, Wells throws out a playlist straight from Club 371 (videos after the break). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:39 PM PST - 23 comments

Sponsored by Buzz and Tater's Laser Aura Piercing

Kern's Holler Journal of Science is peer reviewed, which means that Tater takes a good look at what was wrote to make sure the language is proper, the approach professional, and there ain't no godlessness. Don't mean the articles have to be godly, just don't want to offend no one. We hope you find it readable, close enough to right, and free from crude language. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 3:15 PM PST - 26 comments

An Iwo Jima Relic Binds Generations

An Iwo Jima Relic Binds Generations. (SLNYTTJ - single-link new york times tear-jerker.)
posted by alms at 3:09 PM PST - 7 comments


Slugburgers, hamburgers in which the meat has been supplemented with bread, meal, or crackers for filler, come from a triangular region that cuts across northern Alabama, northern Mississippi, and southern Tennessee and roughly corresponds with the Tennessee Valley. They're called slugburgers in Moulton, Alabama; Decatur, Alabama; and Corinth, Mississippi; doughburgers in Tupelo, Mississippi; and breadburgers in Cullman, Alabama. This regional take on the hamburger became popular during the Great Depression, when the price of meat made it necessary to use fillers to extend supply. Though the exact origin of the term is disputed, it is most commonly held that Slugburgers got their name from the coin used to pay for them: when each burger cost 5¢, you could pay for one with a nickel which was then also called a slug. Corinth, Mississippi, has held an annual Slugburger Festival since 1988. Take a photographic tour of the Slugburger Trail. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 1:34 PM PST - 78 comments

Vintage Cycling Board Games

A huge collection of vintage cycling board games. The main site also has resources for rolling your own cycling game.
posted by OmieWise at 11:35 AM PST - 14 comments

There Goes Swifty

Massachusetts witnesses the end of Greyhound Racing. Today is the last day of Greyhound racing at The Revere, Massachusetts Wonderland Greyhound track. After a 2008 referendum vote put on the ballot by Grey2K and others the 74 year tradition of Greyhound racing at the former Victorian era Wonderland amusment park will end with a slate of 12 races tonight. Some say this is a great day to be at the dogs, some say this is a great day for the dogs. Still others say that the majority of dogs will be moved to other states and lose out on the hoped for opportunity to be adopted. In the end hundreds will lose their jobs in a state with 9.7% unemployment. The fate of the dogs is uncertain, and Boston's famed Revere Beach loses its final attraction.
posted by Gungho at 11:33 AM PST - 94 comments

Time Cfuk is a game about stasis

Time Fcuk is a new game by Edmund McMillen and friends, its a "puzzle platformer" about perspective, its a community experience about communication with people who you dont like. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:03 AM PST - 19 comments

Swords are sharp

John Pontolillo, a student at Johns Hopkins University, had just had laptops and a game console stolen from his house. Hours later, he heard a noise from the garage. Before he went to investigate, he grabbed his katana... [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:17 AM PST - 317 comments

The cash register has a deceptively strong right hook.

Registered Weapon is a buddy cop webcomic about a hard-boiled detective and his partner the talking cash register.
posted by macmac at 10:16 AM PST - 8 comments

Technology for helicopter parents

Your mother has eyes in the back of her head. Chicago Public Schools sends parents a text message when their child is not in class or the kid's grades slip. Mayor Daley attends a demonstration. Chicago is not the only school district to use this technology. It's used in Calloway County, Kentucky. Memphis, Tennessee, and Saratoga Springs, New York, to name a few. It's not just used for monitoring your kids' grades. In San Antonio, you can also monitor the presidential propaganda that's fed to your kids! But what if you want to monitor the text messages your kids receive? Radar alerts you when a "suspicious" person texts, calls, or emails your kid.
posted by desjardins at 9:51 AM PST - 36 comments

Are you looking for me? I'm looking for someone!

Missed the era of video dating? Fear not, here's a taste.
posted by piratebowling at 9:43 AM PST - 57 comments

Google Book Downloader

Convert "Full View" books in Google Books to PDF . Download. Instructions (via )
posted by manny_calavera at 9:22 AM PST - 21 comments

Big things have small beginnings

Charlotte and Branwell Brontë wrote many of their stories of Angria on tiny sheets of paper in nearly microscopic handwriting. This particular example consists of four sheets of notepaper folded into sixteen pages. The individual sheets are approximately 4 ½ inches long and 3 5/8 inches wide, and the entire text contains about nineteen thousand words.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:20 AM PST - 20 comments

Google Street View

Google Street View is currently taking pictures in and around my home village. Google Japan has released a rather cute animated video explaining how the whole process works. Its main aim seems to be to respond to all the criticism regarding privacy issues. It's still cute, though.
posted by Matthias Rascher at 9:15 AM PST - 9 comments

Happy 300th Birthday!

Samuel Johnson was born 300 years ago today in Lichfield. Best known for his dictionary, he also edited a landmark edition of Shakespeare, wrote Lives of the Poets, and composed his Rambler and Idler essays. Among other things. Perhaps most of all, he’s remembered for being very quotable(previously). See a portrait here; or visit the house where he put together his dictionary. Want to learn more? Here's a good place to start.
posted by Man-Thing at 7:32 AM PST - 34 comments

Autographs of famous Indians

An avid collector of autographs, Praful Thakkar has created an online archive of his collection of autographs of famous Indians. There are politicians, authors, Nobel Laureates, actors ...
posted by darsh at 7:22 AM PST - 1 comment


How my factual error found its way into Obama's health care speech.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:53 AM PST - 43 comments


JNES is a Javascript Nintendo Emulator. It works shockingly well.
posted by chunking express at 6:40 AM PST - 45 comments

The Journey of a Thousand Miles (or The Long March)

Doing Business in China - "the first step toward sanity in dealing with 'China' is to recognize that there are dozens, hundreds, perhaps tens of thousands of separate realities all lumped together under that one label." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 5:55 AM PST - 7 comments

Iranian Funk in the 70s

"Not to get all 'We Are the World,' but Kalakat shows how little difference there is between Iranians and people of any other country." 70s Funk and Soul in Iran
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 5:00 AM PST - 21 comments

A Topographico-Spagyrical description of the Oyly-Well

"The Oyly-Well: or, A Topographico-Spagyrical description of the Oyly-Well, at St. Catharines-chappel in the Paroch of Libberton." by M. Mackaile, was originally published in Edinburgh by Robert Brown in 1664.
posted by yegga at 4:10 AM PST - 14 comments

Here lies a local culture

It was one of the biggest riots in the nation's history. An estimated four thousand sailors and locals -- an unlikely alliance of the young and unemployed, the gay community, the rockers -- fought with police, threw rocks and burned cars. [more inside]
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:07 AM PST - 13 comments

Doom smash!

Dr. Victor von Doom, ruler of Latveria, master of magic and science, demonstrates his new Doom-O-Matic (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:01 AM PST - 21 comments

"Lies and betrayals, fruit covered nails, electricity. . ."

Pavement to reunite and tour the world. [more inside]
posted by bardic at 12:39 AM PST - 78 comments

U.K. science fiction Golden Age?

The stories of now. An essay by Kim Stanley Robinson on the remarkable pool of SF talent currently working in the U.K.
posted by zardoz at 12:31 AM PST - 37 comments

Somalia's refugee camps

Inside Somalia. Mike Thomson of the BBC makes a rare visit to the refugee camps in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:16 AM PST - 11 comments

Live steam

Great Dorset Steam Fair 2009 - Heavy Haulage Arena, Showmans Engine's, Dancing Girls (MLYT)
posted by Artw at 12:12 AM PST - 10 comments

September 17

Bavarian Film Studios in Munich

Hitchcock's first in 1925. Kubrick in 1957. Sturges in 1963. Bergman, Huston, Ophüls, and Wilder. Sound of Music in 1965. Willy Wonka in 1971. Also, Monty Python made their Fliegender Zirkus specials there in 1971 and 1972. Film history and all that. Sure. But to my mind, the best part of the Bavarian Film Studios is being able to go inside the actual submarine from Das Boot. Or you can ride on that flying dog thing from Neverending Story... if that's how you roll.
posted by Brosef K at 10:33 PM PST - 9 comments

“We believe this is a revolution...Content retrieval is now centralized and production is decentralized.”

Google makes public domain books available for instant custom printing. Show up anywhere that has one of the book printing machines. Select one of the millions of public domain titles in Google Books digital library. Pay around the price of a mass market paperback. The machine then prints a copy of your desired book* in a few minutes, as demonstrated in this lovingly narrated video. [more inside]
posted by voltairemodern at 10:29 PM PST - 48 comments

"So you go home at night, like me, smarter than you were when you woke up in the morning."

Andy Richter destroys Wolf Blitzer in Celebrity Jeopardy (twice, if you count the rehearsal show). Of course, Richter is no stranger to the game.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:20 PM PST - 76 comments

My favorite was Altavista, because of the Babelfish.

Popular Search Engines from the 90s, then and now
posted by sugarfish at 9:01 PM PST - 86 comments

What turns on a Kryptonian?

Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 7:51 PM PST - 46 comments

Masters of Time

In 1883, they took control of time ITSELF. They ran the railroads, and they got what they wanted. [more inside]
posted by hexatron at 6:58 PM PST - 20 comments

Beer-proof Lederhosen

It's about freakin' time (SLdSL).
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:03 PM PST - 33 comments

"He stood there like a house by the side of the road."

Yesterday, the Detroit Tigers paid tribute to beloved former voice of the team, Hall of Famer Ernie Harwell. In characteristically classy fashion reminiscent of Lou Gehrig, Harwell used his farewell remarks (transcript) to thank fans for their support throughout his 42 years broadcasting Tigers games, especially in light of his recent diagnosis with inoperable bile duct cancer. [more inside]
posted by axiom at 4:26 PM PST - 16 comments

Deionized Essence of Dan Brown

"Five months ago, the kaleidoscope of power had been shaken, and Aringarosa was still reeling from the blow." Dan Brown's 20 Worst Sentences
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:19 PM PST - 211 comments

On the concept of horror and the horror of concepts.

Collapse IV , "Concept Horror." The fourth issue of Urbanomic's "journal of philosophical research and development," Collapse, focuses on the relationship between modern philosophy and horror fiction and features essays by and about authors such as Thomas Ligotti, China Miéville and Michael Houellebecq and of course H.P. Lovecraft. Having sold out its print edition, Urbanomic has made the issue available for download as a 200 + page PDF. Some disturbing images (and ideas) within the download.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:59 PM PST - 24 comments

Twice a Phantom

David Niven was best known for his acting work in roles such as The Pink Panther's Sir Charles Lytton, aka the Phantom, a suave playboy burglar with, as calling card, a white glove embroidered with a "P". Niven is also remembered as a generous, if not always entirely truthful, fountain of (mostly saucy) anecdotes, as well as a famous wit. However, there was one part of his life about which he was always notoriously serious and tight-lipped: his military service in the Second World War. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 2:46 PM PST - 39 comments

A Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich of a Computer Case

The use of cardboard for things other than packaging is not new to the blue, from detailed artwork to furnature (and even re-making the Tron light cycle scene), and now computer cases. Brenden Macaluso's design is not the first, with a Japanese design from 2005 (the original site is down, but has a backup, with more versions archived), and other kludged fixes for an existing case missing parts. Recompute wasn't the only cardboard case in the 2009 Greener Gadgets design competition. The other was Cardboardcase, by Francesco Biasci and Martina Becattini, which is a more of a traditional computer case form. On the DIY side, Instructables provides plans for a DIY cardboard laptop case. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:49 PM PST - 13 comments

The Flickr Page of the UN Refugee Agency

The United Nations Refugee Agency has a Flickr page with nearly 3000 photos neatly sorted into over 150 sets, most often by country, though sometimes by other themes, such as photos taken by refugee children, life in a refugee camp and mixed migration. There are also news sets, sorted by month. Some of the countries featured are ones that many associate with humanitarian disasters, Timor-Leste, Iraq and The Democratic Republic of Congo, but there are also photosets from countries that few associate with refugees, Panama, Hungary and France.
posted by Kattullus at 12:23 PM PST - 9 comments

Biblical GraphJam

Clarence Larkin's famous Biblical Wall Charts - previously on Metafilter, but with that link defunct and this one providing excellent scans, it seems worth re-posting. Quality of parent site not guaranteed. Some highlights of Larkin's fanciful, technical illustrations of the ages of man and biblical prophecy: Rightly dividing the word of truth, The six days of re-creation, The world's seven great crises.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:00 PM PST - 26 comments


Traction Man is writing about the food he receives in an NHS hospital bed in England. He's got a Downfall tribute video too.
posted by debord at 11:48 AM PST - 34 comments

An incomplete and biased overview of the history of noise.

Erupting with the blare of The Art of Noises, noise as art first nestled under the wing of futurism. Too bad they were fascists. Since then, it has expanded and spread around the world, a mirror and a mockery of music. Or maybe its future. [more inside]
posted by idiopath at 10:53 AM PST - 66 comments


Murmur. Photographs of flocking birds by Richard Barnes.
Boids. A program by Craig Reynolds modeling emergent behavior.
Swarm. A platform and wiki for agent-based modelers.
posted by OmieWise at 9:59 AM PST - 14 comments

the bee's knees

A talented Slovenian typographer creates the first handmade subpixel type family, ever.
posted by quoquo at 8:49 AM PST - 124 comments

The Philly Phanatic

Analyst Tim McCarver calls the Philly Phanatic "The best mascot in baseball." However, former Slim-Fast pitchman and ex Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda hates him. On being in the Phanatic costume Tom Burgoyne, who has had the role since 1993, says "I feel like I'm reliving my childhood." However, the Philly Phanatic is not always the funniest thing happening at Citizens Bank Park.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:49 AM PST - 62 comments

Park(ing) Day NYC

Park(ing) Day NYC is a one day event of taking over automobile parking spots throughout NYC and converting them into miniature parks, bicycle parking, art installations and performance areas. "These small, temporary public spaces provide a breath of relief from the auto-clogged reality of New York City, and aim to spark dialogue about our valuable public space and how we choose to use it." Plan your day with this map of Park(ing) locations and schedule of events.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 7:08 AM PST - 102 comments

Stardate, uh, One

King of an Endless Sky is a new graphic story by Teetering Bulb, AKA Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon. A new page every Thursday, published at [more inside]
posted by Scattercat at 6:09 AM PST - 11 comments

The Holy Grail of the Unconscious

The Red Book , full of calligraphy and grand illustrations, is Carl Jung's last unpublished book. Written in private and quite possibly never intended to actually be published, it has been called full of "infinite wisdom" and conversely "the work of a psychotic". It has been carefully guarded for the past 40 years by his family, who only recently have been convinced of the importance of its publishing. This is the story of how it happened.
posted by Hackworth at 1:53 AM PST - 43 comments

September 16

Masters of Illusion: The Great Management Consultancy Swindle

"The most important of the all-too-human functions of consultants is to sanctify and communicate opinion. Like ministers of information, consultants condense the message, smooth out the dissonances, unify the rhetoric, and then repeat and amplify it ad nauseam through the client's rank and file. The chief message to be communicated is that you will be expected to work much harder than you ever have before and your chances of losing your job are infinitely greater than you ever imagined."
If you've ever known a management consultant, this explains why they always seem to have that "outrageously unjustified level of self-confidence." A fascinating insider's look into the anthropology of business consulting -- Masters of Illusion: The Great Management Consultancy Swindle
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:15 PM PST - 76 comments

Tethered To The Sun

They are tethered to the sun. Ashley and Traci are neighbors who connect on issues such as desire, books, paintings, and photography. Ingoing. NSFW
posted by dual_action at 8:46 PM PST - 55 comments

Magazines as Fabric

Artist/Designer Ilisha Helfman makes clothes for her custom made paper dolls every week from the cover of the New York Times Magazine.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:07 PM PST - 9 comments

Normandy: Then and Now

Normandy: Then and Now Photographs of Normandy in 1944 meticulously juxtaposed with how the area looks today by French historian Patrick Elie.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:41 PM PST - 27 comments

I don't know about you guys, but I'm super excited for boring week

Everything is Terrible presents Boring Week: Ways to win bingo, rainbows around the moon, the secrets of simple packing, and hunting treestand safety.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 7:19 PM PST - 21 comments

RIP Mary Travers, of Peter Paul and...

Mary Travers died today, at 72, of leukemia. According to the NY Times, she provided the sex appeal to Peter, Paul and Mary, which in turn provided mainstream production values for a number of Dylan songs. However, many remember her contributions to (the creepily titled but awesome) kids' record Peter Paul and Mommy. Peter and Paul have written tributes to her.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:13 PM PST - 129 comments

Brothers in arms

When his best friend died in combat, he showed up in a dress to the military funeral. Because both had promised each other that if one of them died the other would wear a dress to the funeral. True friendship. 1 2
posted by Clementines4ever at 5:37 PM PST - 106 comments

Sick and Wrong

Matt Taibbi takes a look at the health care reform circus in Congress. It doesn't come off looking much better than Goldman Sachs. (more inside) [more inside]
posted by sensate at 5:20 PM PST - 68 comments

Haiku Finder

words that seem boring
will become much more worthwhile
when viewed through this lens.
[via mefi projects]
posted by mdn at 5:03 PM PST - 66 comments

You've Been Ragrolled!

Classic 80s hits interpreted for ragtime piano. (SLYT)
posted by FfejL at 4:26 PM PST - 29 comments

Conservatives of Color are Angry White People?

Lifestyles of the White & Suggestible opens and closes with a Conservative of Color. The singer heard (but not seen) in the background is Lloyd Marcus, who provides the American Tea Party Anthem. Obama doesn't think it's about racism. Neither does Republican Chairman Michael Steele. An introduction to the beliefs of Conservatives of Color: Emancipation Revelation Revolution
posted by shetterly at 4:15 PM PST - 29 comments

A Poem. By Henry Gibson.

Character actor and comedian Henry Gibson died today at 73. [more inside]
posted by QuestionableSwami at 3:25 PM PST - 61 comments

Astounding Stories

StarShipSofa (previously) celebrates it's 100th issue as a podcast science fiction magazine with StarShipSofa Stories volume 1, an anthology of stories previously podcasted by StarShipSofa, available either as a POD book from Lulu or as a free e-book download, featuring the likes of Michael Moorcock, Peter Watts, Gene Wolfe, Joe R Lansdale, Alastair Reynolds, and Elizabeth Bear.
posted by Artw at 3:13 PM PST - 7 comments

Guiding Light Extinguished

This Friday, the longest-running scripted program in broadcasting history comes to an end.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:51 PM PST - 55 comments

The Long Good Bye

Foreign Policy has an interesting double in the latest issue: Oil's very future is being seriously questioned, debated, and challenged. Just as we need more oil than ever, it is changing faster than we can keep up with. An article by the often controversal Pulitzer prize winner Daniel Yergan.
This article is complimented by: Subpriming the Pump; Oil wealth used to hurt only those who had it. Now, it's hurting everyone. By Mahmoud El-Gamal and Amy Myers Jaffe both of Rice University.
posted by adamvasco at 1:05 PM PST - 9 comments

Gene Therapy for Color-blindness

"But after five months, something clicked. The monkeys picked out red and green, again and again." UW researchers use gene therapy to give squirrel monkeys trichromatic vision. “Not only might we be able to cure disease, but we might engineer eyes with remarkable capabilities. You can imagine conferring enhanced night vision in normal eyes, or engineering genes that make photopigments with spectral properties for whatever you want your eye to see.”
posted by spitefulcrow at 12:58 PM PST - 72 comments

Haast's eagles were to NZ as Dingos are to Australia

Legends from New Zealand held that there was a large predator bird, known as pouakai, that was big enough to carry human beings off to its nest or den. Some people associated stories of Pouakai with the giant flightless Moa, extinct in 1773. Others thought it might be another extinct giant bird on the South Island, Haast's Eagle (Harpagornis moorei). The eagle, locally known as Te Hokioi, has been extinct for 500 years, overlapping with the early settlers by some 200 years. There was some speculation that the giant eagle was a scavenger due to partially protected nasal openings, which are benefit to protect nasal cavities when digging into carcasses, analogous to features found on accipitrid vultures. Recent studies have provide there is proof that the Haast's Eagle was a fearsome predator, with talons like tigers and the ability to dive on prey at 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:41 PM PST - 20 comments

The Endless National Health-Care Discussion

Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus has released the "chairman's mark" (his draft) of health-care legislation, America's Healthy Future Act. [more inside]
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 12:26 PM PST - 75 comments

Sesame Street - 35 years + DIY = Sunshine Again

Sunshine Again is a lo-fi/DIY public Access re-imagination of oldschool 1970's children's television, produced by Heather Ferreira, an independent producer whose mission is to "ignore what network television is doing and start a New York-based cable net of my own, specializing in shows that look and feel a lot like shows on Nick@Nite and TV Land used to – except these will be all brand-new shows." [ more info | appreciation and funky video | Youtube Search for more Sunshine Again ]
posted by not_on_display at 12:02 PM PST - 11 comments

The pictures and sketches of JRR Tolkien

The pictures and sketches of JRR Tolkien
posted by nthdegx at 12:01 PM PST - 24 comments

I'm addicted... to HOARDERS!

"Hoarders is a fascinating look inside the lives of two hoarders per episode. Tivoids set your season pass here, or watch complete episodes online. Kind of a mix between the documentary "Possessed" (previously) and A&E's Intervention. Discussion board includes some drama between the hoarders on the show and the production staff.
posted by basilwhite at 10:31 AM PST - 120 comments


Respect for Marriage Act. The House introduces legislation to repeal DOMA.
posted by kmz at 10:22 AM PST - 96 comments

Dusty Got Soul

Dusty Springfield Beatles Medley with Mireille Mathieu, Juliet Prowse and Burt Bacharach on piano.
posted by vronsky at 10:11 AM PST - 10 comments

Yes, there is something living in there

Ms. Serrao wanted to remove the wriggling, chewing larva as soon as possible, but she also realized that the botfly in her head presented a unique opportunity for a nature photographer. As a result, she videotaped herself and the efforts by her surprisingly stoic husband, Greg Hiemenz, to remove the worm-like creature. A Vacation Bug That Keeps Biting. With, of course, video.
posted by dersins at 10:05 AM PST - 98 comments

ACORN under fire

ACORN already drew fire last year during the election, accused of voter fraud, although ACORN points out there was no real fraud going on [pdf]. Now, they are facing controversy over a recent video showing ACORN officials offering advice to amateur actors posing as a pimp and prostitute on what to say when seeking a mortgage for a brothel. A second video captured an ACORN worker claiming to have murdered her husband (she later said she was simply messing with the filmmakers). As a result of these recent controversies, the Senate voted 83-7 to prohibiting the use of funds to fund ACORN. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 10:05 AM PST - 159 comments

The unholy love child of pulled pork and pate.

Want to have a small bacon pick-me-up in the office or away from home? The food blog, Homesick Texan, presents the traditional recipe for Bacon Jam.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:44 AM PST - 43 comments

a vague nostalgia for a benevolent, quasi-modernist English bureaucratic aesthetic

Lash Out and Cover Up: Owen Hatherley in Radical Philosophy on "Keep Calm and Carry On," manufactured nostalgia for austerity, and modernist kitsch, in its authoritarian and ironically adapted forms. [more inside]
posted by RogerB at 8:06 AM PST - 31 comments

Isn't the Schism Overdue?

How do you reward a Catholic sister for nearly 40 years of service to the cause of peace and justice? If you’re the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, you tell her to shut up. [more inside]
posted by tizzie at 6:24 AM PST - 183 comments

Math Geekery

For math geeks. How to Draw the Voronoi Diagram. Voronoi diagrams, as a geometric model are fascinating because they can be used to describe almost literally everything: from cell phone networks to radiolaria, at every scale: from quantum foam to cosmic foam. See also the Wallpaper Group: there are only 17 ways to fill a plane with a regular 2 dimensional pattern. Fred Scharmen [weblog home] is known as 765 and also produces a number of shapes, textures and patterns.
posted by netbros at 5:37 AM PST - 35 comments

employee ownership

Reinventing the Firm - "drawing on Ronald Coase, a firm is a political response to an economic problem: managerial power and hierarchy is one efficient way of dealing with the uncertainties attached to the employment relationship. But this doesn't prevent us from considering alternative political settlements, that are potentially more democratic and more productive." also see: Clay Shirky, Ronald Coase and, err, me (previously 1|2|3 via mm & ev) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:44 AM PST - 6 comments

Army horses get a break

Horses on a Seaside Holiday. Pictures of London-based army horses really enjoying their annual seaside holiday. They splash in the sea and take long gallops on the sand, with their riders. They are the Royal Horse Artillery who do spectacular displays towing and firing guns (not the horses on sentry duty at Horse Guards in Whitehall).
posted by Idcoytco at 4:29 AM PST - 24 comments

"Don't turn your back on the city.."

The Protomen [previously] in 2005 released the most geektastic dystopian nightmare of a MegaMan based rock opera anyone could have possibly conceived. After four years, they have finally released a followup album: Act II: The Father Of Death [more inside]
posted by mediocre at 4:23 AM PST - 29 comments

A tray of lard

The £10 breakfast. Why is it £10? Because there is ten of everything. [more inside]
posted by mippy at 1:49 AM PST - 102 comments

September 15

Archive Team

Archive Team: We are going to rescue your shit. (previously)
posted by stbalbach at 10:45 PM PST - 43 comments

Catch you later.

Two AI Pioneers. Two Bizarre Suicides. Wired's David Kushner examines the work of two young, competitive AI researchers, and the eerie circumstances of their deaths.
posted by knave at 9:43 PM PST - 47 comments

Everything new is old again

Movie trailers: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1951), starring Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, and Peter Lorre; Forrest Gump (1949), starring Jimmy Stewart. From the creator of Ghostbusters (1954), with Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, and Dean Martin. via I Watch Stuff
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:37 PM PST - 25 comments

Near Space Photography Under $150

With the integration of cameras, GPS receivers, and more into cellphones, many people take for granted the lightweight, energy efficient technology in their pockets. MIT ties all that tech together to a weather balloon in Project Icarus, where for $150 a prepaid cellphone becomes a high-altitude near-space camera.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:20 PM PST - 12 comments


Wikirunner is a linux/windows game based on wikipedian tag created by Doches as an entry in Mini Ludum Dare 12. (about ludum dare)
posted by juv3nal at 9:16 PM PST - 4 comments

Bathtub IV

Man swept out to sea, incident caught using tilt-shift miniturazing technique: Bathtub IV [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 7:28 PM PST - 47 comments

Washed Out

Director Neil Krug takes 70's inspired washed out photos. He directed Ladytron's Tomorrow video and is releasing "Pulp Art Book", a collaboration with model Joni Harbeck using expired Polaroid film. His upcoming movie "Invisible Pyramid", equally nostalgic looking material, is about two girls "escaping the loss of a loved one in search for an answer to their ambivalence". Ernest Greene is uninvolved, but he puts out the perfect accompanying music under the moniker Washed Out. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 6:46 PM PST - 10 comments

This Pony Does a Trick

Return My Pants! There is no "About" page, or FAQ, or even site directions. You have two choices: Lend or Borrow.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:35 PM PST - 28 comments

The abnormal has become the norm

Brenda Kenneally documents the effects of illegal drugs in her Brooklyn, New York neighborhood. Money Power Respect and Big Trigg. NSFW [previous comment]
posted by tellurian at 5:37 PM PST - 28 comments

Eddie Iz Running

Eddie Izzard is one of The UK’s most beloved comedians. He is not, however known for his athletic prowess. But that's all about to change, because Eddie’s just completed a run - a very, very, VERY long run. 43 Marathons in 51 days for charity. [more inside]
posted by ColdChef at 3:40 PM PST - 91 comments

Helveticise your web experience

Love Helvetica and modernist typographic design? Seen the film? Now, with the power of browser userscripts, you can have the 20th-century high-modernist experience in your favourite web applications. Scripts exist to Helveticise Gmail, Twitter and Google Reader, and work with a variety of modern browsers. [more inside]
posted by acb at 3:19 PM PST - 68 comments

Grover, Grover, gimme your ice cream.

"What is so striking, and serves as the clearest mark of Rand’s lasting influence, is the language of moral absolutism applied by the right to these questions. Conservatives define the see-sawing of the federal tax-and-transfer system between slightly redistributive and very slightly redistributive as a culture war over capitalism, or a final battle to save the free enterprise system from the hoard of free-riders." John Chait on the debt modern conservatism owes to Ayn Rand. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise at 2:55 PM PST - 87 comments


Curt Flood's suit of Baseball. In 1970, baseball's best center fielder, Curt Flood filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball and its reserve clause.
posted by klangklangston at 1:41 PM PST - 61 comments

"Man has an invincible inclination to allow himself to be deceived..."

Inside the financial crisis, from a speechwriter's point of view. And from a different vantage.
posted by peachfuzz at 11:34 AM PST - 51 comments

I mean, really! Who throws a shoe?

"After six years of humiliation, of indignity, of killing and violations of sanctity, and desecration of houses of worship, the killer comes, boasting, bragging about victory and democracy. He came to say goodbye to his victims and wanted flowers in response.

"Put simply, that was my flower to the occupier, and to all who are in league with him, whether by spreading lies or taking action, before the occupation or after."

Muntadhar al Zaidi, the journalist sentenced to three years of prison for assaulting a foreign leader after throwing his shoes at President Bush, has been released from prison after serving only nine months. [more inside]
posted by orville sash at 11:28 AM PST - 53 comments

KFC Double Down

"God clearly did not mean for humans to eat chicken, bacon, and low-quality, gelatinous cheese at the same time." Nathan Rabin tackles KFC's Double Down combo.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:22 AM PST - 111 comments

Keeping Celtic languages alive on TV and the Web

Since 1980, the Celtic Media Festival has brought together people who broadcast, and now Webcast, in Celtic languages. Videoblog Gwagenn.TV provides a report (with autoplaying video) from the 2009 festival whose clips and interviews are spoken and subtitled variously in Breton, French, English, Welsh, Scots Gaelic and Irish, Catalan, and Basque, not all of which are actually Celtic. [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 11:21 AM PST - 5 comments

30 Mosques In 30 Days

30 Mosques in 30 Days. Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq's Ramadan journey through NYC's Muslim Community.
posted by gman at 10:38 AM PST - 7 comments

Marc Garlasco's Downfall

"I work to expose war crimes and the Nazis were the worst war criminals of all time. But I'm now in the bizarre and painful situation of having to deny accusations that I'm a Nazi." Marc Garlasco of the Human Rights Watch catches flak for his memorabilia hobby and is now suspended with pay "pending an investigation" by the HRW. [more inside]
posted by geoff. at 10:34 AM PST - 110 comments


Get This Rat a Lawyer! A recent target of right wing anger has been Obama administration "czars", a term used to denote appointed presidential advisers not subject to Senate approval. Opponents of "czars" were recently emboldened by the resignation of Anthony "Van" Jones, who served from March 16 to September 5, 2009 as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. An additional target of the hunt for Obama's czars is Cass Sunstein, a constitutional-law professor at Harvard University, who was confirmed Thursday as the director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. [more inside]
posted by ND¢ at 9:14 AM PST - 67 comments

Where my bubble tea drinkers at?

Jen Kwok implores you to Date An Asian. (SLYT, language NSFW)
posted by hermitosis at 8:27 AM PST - 73 comments

Wonder what this will do for book sales?

Bin Laden's Reading List for Americans [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel at 8:08 AM PST - 50 comments

The 2009 Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival is now in full swing.

How about Irish farmer dating if Internet dating and speed dating are not your thing? An "ancient" (maybe a century, max) tradition of matchmaking, traditional music and "grand craic" are also on offer. Even comes with its own (part-time) matchmaker: Willy. Or... is this the "real" Matchmaker Willy?
posted by KMH at 7:53 AM PST - 10 comments

I took your purse and felt a connection.

The 20 most bizarre Craigslist posts of all time.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:33 AM PST - 43 comments

*Slap!* Sir, I demand satisfaction

Few things in history are as compelling as the duel. Refined and barbaric at the same time, this practice has had a checkered history. The rules of dueling were codified by the Irish in 1777 in the Code Duello (summarized here), which was codified at Clonmel Summer Assizes in 1777. As evidenced by these documents, dueling was in practice prior to the Irish rules being drafted. The procedure and philosophy behind duels is illustrated in this article. Dueling gained some traction in America in the 19th century, culminating in the famous Burr-Hamilton affair. There are many more resources to find out more here. For a list of famous duels, you can check out this list. Lest you think men were the only ones dueling, here are a few short anecdotes of women dueling. Reportedly, dueling is still legal in Paraguay, as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
posted by reenum at 7:31 AM PST - 17 comments

We Have Decided Not to Die

We Have Decided Not to Die. A beautiful and surreal short film. (Approx. 11 minutes.) Interview with writer/director Daniel Askill. A modern day allegorical triptych, three figures undergo transformation through three rituals. [more inside]
posted by The Deej at 7:19 AM PST - 9 comments

Beth Rickey, 1956-2009

Beth Rickey, instrumental in thwarting the rise of neo-Nazi David Duke in Louisiana politics, died this weekend at the age of 53 in a Santa Fe motel.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:51 AM PST - 34 comments

Rediscover Your Place in the Galaxy

Through three giant images, the Gigagalaxy Zoom project reveals the full sky as it appears with the unaided eye from one of the darkest deserts on Earth, then zooms in on a rich region of the Milky Way to reveal three amazing, ultra-high-resolution images of the night sky that online stargazers can zoom in on and explore in an incredible level of detail.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:37 AM PST - 18 comments

Goodbye Gastronaut

Keith Floyd , the original Celebrity chef and the most flamboyant of gastronauts, has passed away from a heart attack at the age of 65. Floyd was known not just for enjoying a drink while he cooked, but also for making TV real. [more inside]
posted by Elmore at 4:25 AM PST - 41 comments

America Responds to Kanye West

Kanye West's VMA outburst: The A.V. Club finds people who think it's due to the devil, an NBC marketing ploy, and a metaphor for racism. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 2:21 AM PST - 242 comments

A front pages post

Google Fast Flip: Newspaper Stand 2.0
posted by fatllama at 1:54 AM PST - 34 comments


The cover to Joy Division's debut album Unknown Pleasures, animated. The original cover, by Peter Saville, consisted of a reversed image from The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Astronomy showing radio pulses over time from CP 1919, now known as PSR B1919+21, the first pulsar to be discovered. Read the covers story here.
posted by Artw at 12:03 AM PST - 25 comments

September 14

hi cutie ur realy sexy. msn?

How (not) to write an online-dating message, based on a sample of 500,000 "first contact" messages. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:05 PM PST - 77 comments

Job perk: graze your cow in Harvard Yard

Harvard theologian grazes his cow in the Yard. Harvey Cox, recently retired as Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard, has exercised his customary right as holder of the oldest endowed chair in America to graze a cow in Harvard Yard. It's hard to tell who had a more unusual day: the professor, author of influential books like The Secular City and The Feast of Fools, or the cow, named Faith for the day, on a day visit from her home at The Farm School in Atholl, Massachusetts.
posted by Rain Man at 7:19 PM PST - 43 comments

Religious Studies 101: A Handful of Thorns

Religious Studies 101: A Handful of Thorns - A Radio Play Crossover Event (Intro, Act 1, Act 2, Act 3). Producer and scriptwriter Greg Weisman unites the characters of the critically acclaimed animated series Gargoyles and The Spectacular Spider-Man in a script originally performed at the 2009 Gathering of the Gargoyles fan convention. Please be warned that the script contains spoilers for the aforementioned shows. [more inside]
posted by fearthehat at 7:17 PM PST - 1 comment

High Jump Innovator

The Revolutionary "Consider, then, the Fosbury Flop, an upside-down and backward leap over a high bar, an outright—an outrageous!—perversion of acceptable methods of jumping over obstacles. An absolute departure in form and technique. It was an insult to suggest, after all these aeons, that there had been a better way to get over a barrier all along. And if there were, it ought to have come from a coach, a professor of kinesiology, a biomechanic, not an Oregon teenager of middling jumping ability."
posted by dhruva at 6:57 PM PST - 27 comments

Hopefully they won't screw it up.

Discussed several times in the green, announced today that the company will be acquired by Intuit.
posted by ericales at 6:56 PM PST - 39 comments

Time of his life.

After a short battle with pancreatic cancer, Patrick Swayze has died. Having starred in numerous movies throughout his career, he's probably best known for his Roles in The Outsiders, Dirty Dancing and Ghost. [more inside]
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:41 PM PST - 176 comments

Crystal Lee Sutton

Crystal Lee Sutton was fired for trying to organise a union. The incident was made into the 1979 film Norma Rae. Last week she died at the age of 68.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:14 PM PST - 23 comments

Iraq's New Surge: Gay Killings

The lynching of gays in Iraq is on the rise, according to ambassador Christopher Hill's testimony before the house today."Hamizi, a computer science graduate, is at the cutting edge of a new wave of violence against gay men in Iraq. Made up of hardline extremists, Hamizi's group and others like it are believed to be responsible for the deaths of more than 130 gay Iraqi men since the beginning of the year alone." WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE, POSSIBLY NSFW
posted by Acromion at 5:31 PM PST - 53 comments

Ames Research Center Image Library

Ames Research Center Image Library [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust at 5:19 PM PST - 7 comments

Chrome megaphone barks / Autumn presents First Alpha / The Spring of Haiku

BeOS has been reborn a number of times, often without significant success but things are looking up. Starting in 1991 with the production of an all-in-one hardware/software home multimedia computer (the BeBox, the first of which was available to the public in 1994), the possible purchase by Apple was at the height of success for BeOS (instead Apple chose to buy NeXT in 1996), and the low point of being when BeOS was bought by Palm for $11 million in 2001, where it became part of the Palm OS Cobalt that nobody wanted. In 2002, news of BeOS' rebirth as yellowTAB came out, with another shift as yellowTAB became magnussoft ZETA, which finally folded in 2007, as their figures were far below expectations. From here, fans and enthusiasts took over, with a number of attempts to re-create BeOS from scratch. Most failed, but Haiku (previously) has survived, and today they announced that the first alpha version of the Haiku operating system is available for download (direct download or through torrent), and a preliminary review sounds positive. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:05 PM PST - 59 comments

"I've got two kidneys, and he needs one..."

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder affecting 600,000 Americans and 12.5 million people worldwide. Large cysts grow on the kidneys causing urinary problems, elevated blood pressure, and eventually renal failure. Although there is no cure for PKD, patients are generally good candidates for kidney transplants. For patients on Medicare, the transplants are covered, but the needed anti-rejection medication is not after 3 years. The health care bill [pdf] currently in the House contains a provision to change that. [more inside]
posted by albrecht at 2:44 PM PST - 14 comments

The Ghost Fleet of the Recession

A gigantic fleet of semi-abandoned cargo and container ships has been photographed east of Singapore. Meanwhile, the ship-breaking yards at Alang are booming, and the shipping industry is looking for ways to weather the storm. As the recession slashes demand, it seems the shipping industry may be heading for dry dock...
posted by vorfeed at 1:29 PM PST - 46 comments

Dear President Bush,

Demanding that you alone be held accountable and no one else be scapegoated would itself be an act of honor. It would draw a line between the past and the future in the same way that Lincoln’s defense of his brief suspensions of habeas corpus conceded Congress’s sole right to remove this core constitutional provision, but defended his action as a necessary emergency measure because a mass rebellion “had subverted the whole of the laws.” You do not deserve to go down in history as the president who brought torture into the American system and refused to take responsibility for it..
An Open Letter to George W Bush
posted by empath at 11:07 AM PST - 113 comments

Gentlemen, you can't fight here! This is the War Room!

1995 Contractor Study Finds that U.S. Analysts Exaggerated Soviet Aggressiveness and Understated Moscow's Fears of a U.S. First Strike. During a 1972 command post exercise, leaders of the Kremlin listened to a briefing on the results of a hypothetical war with the United States. A U.S. attack would kill 80 million Soviet citizens and destroy 85 percent of the country's industrial capacity. According to the recollections of a Soviet general who was present, General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev "trembled" when he was asked to push a button, asking Soviet defense minister Grechko "this is definitely an exercise?" This story appears in a recently released two-volume study on Soviet Intentions, 1965-1985, prepared in 1995 by the Pentagon contractor BDM Corporation, and published today for the first time by the National Security Archive. [more inside]
posted by DreamerFi at 11:00 AM PST - 42 comments

Toxic Waters

Toxic Waters: A series about the worsening pollution in American waters and regulators' response.
posted by homunculus at 8:58 AM PST - 26 comments

Viktor Suvorov on the beginnings of World War II

Suvorov’s argument is simple. Stalin cleverly lured Hitler into war by offering to divide Poland. This act, Stalin knew, would prompt Britain and France to declare war on Germany. Stalin expected to pick up the pieces. - Eric Margolis [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 8:30 AM PST - 30 comments

A Conversation with Vanessa Winship

A Conversation with photographer Vanessa Winship. [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 8:04 AM PST - 13 comments

High quality antique maps of London & British Isles

MAPCO's aim is to provide genealogists, students and historians with free access to high quality scans of rare and beautiful antique maps and views. The site displays a variety of highly collectable 18th and 19th century maps and plans of London and the British Isles... [more inside]
posted by slimepuppy at 4:05 AM PST - 16 comments

Size Matters (Sorta Kinda)

If you want a vaginal orgasm, according to a new study size does matter. But is there a hidden agenda behind the study? [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:05 AM PST - 176 comments

In Wal-Mart's Image

How Wal-Mart's values are shaping America's economy -- and why this is a very bad thing:
Around the time that the young Sam Walton opened his first stores, John Kennedy redeemed a presidential campaign promise by persuading Congress to extend the minimum wage to retail workers, who had until then not been covered by the law. Walton was furious. Now the goddamn federal government was telling him he had to pay his workers the $1.15 hourly minimum. Walton's response was to divide up his stores into individual companies whose revenues didn't exceed the $250,000 threshold. Eventually, though, a federal court ruled that this was simply a scheme to avoid paying the minimum wage, and he was ordered to pay his workers the accumulated sums he owed them, plus a double-time penalty thrown in for good measure. Wal-Mart cut the checks, but Walton also summoned the employees at a major cluster of his stores to a meeting. "I'll fire anyone who cashes the check," he told them.
posted by acb at 2:00 AM PST - 257 comments

Green Revolution

Many UK FreeCycle branches have suddenly broken away from the American parent, as a response to what they see as increasingly centralised (even dictatorial) management. Apparantly this has been boiling for a while. Now, they are calling themselves Freegle. [more inside]
posted by Grangousier at 1:07 AM PST - 58 comments

"He had stolen a bound devil from a priest in Franconia, using it to practice sorcery. He later sold in for five guilders."

No collection of Folklore and Mythology would be complete without Anti-Semitic Legends, tales of infanticide and changelings, the Christianizing of Faeries, or incest. (previously, previously)
posted by orthogonality at 12:26 AM PST - 9 comments

September 13


Stray, The Unfamiliar, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie - Three stories of a group of dogs, and a cat, battling the supernatural courtesy of Evan Dorkin, Jill Thompson and Dark Horse Comics, released for free as a teaser for the forthcoming Beasts of Burden. (via)
posted by Artw at 11:33 PM PST - 12 comments

First, Catch Your Rooster

“Oh my!” Elise had turned over their rooster and noticed its spurs. I just about had a heart attack — the spurs were nearly three inches long, curved and very, very sharp. But for the Grace of God that rooster could easily have sent me to the hospital. I was feeling a lot better about leaving that last bird, and was beginning to understand why Dominic and Rosa never killed their own chickens.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:57 PM PST - 17 comments

A Squid on the Ice

A Squid on the Ice. From fermion, an Antarctic mefite: "The continuing saga of Science and Adventure with the Squid (that's me) in and around Antarctica's McMurdo Station. Includes cool science, musings on Lovecraft, the logistics of Antarctic life, and lots of pictures. We're hoping to get out to the Dry Valleys sometime soon." [via mefi projects]
posted by ocherdraco at 8:39 PM PST - 21 comments

Tron in 5:30 to Daft Punk Songs

Tron in 5:30 to Daft Punk Songs (SLYT) (previously)
posted by mrgrimm at 8:28 PM PST - 12 comments

He was a friend of mine

Jim Carroll has died. Avant-garde writer, punk rocker, doped-up downtown scenester, never-made-it schoolyard hoop-dreamer. He couldn't have expected to live to see a master's thesis in English at San Diego State written about his journal/novel The Basketball Diaries, or to be interviewed by Jon Stewart about being played by Leo DiCaprio in the movie of his (early) life. [more inside]
posted by escabeche at 5:43 PM PST - 122 comments

Kentucky Artist

An artist who cannot spare the time to travel is using Google Street View to visit stunning locations around the world and capture them in paint. For the past year wannabe globe-trotter Bill Guffey, has spent hundreds of hours traveling thousands of virtual miles to visit places he feels he will never get to see in person. (via)
posted by netbros at 4:49 PM PST - 34 comments

Pogue Mahone, ya Nipple Erectors

Shane MacGowan is the face and name most often associated with The Pogues. Unraveling Shane's psyche would require a book-length study but the crux of his identity lies somewhere in that conflict between English experience and Irish heritage. The abbreviated story of his life starts with his birth in England, but he was raised in Ireland, and moved back to England some years later. He won a scholarship to the renowned Westminster School, where he was possibly enrolled alongside Thomas Dolby and other notable people. MacGowan was involved with drugs and publicized hooliganery before being in a band, the first of which was The Nipple Erectors in 1977. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:51 PM PST - 87 comments

Live Peace in Toronto

The Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival was held forty years ago today. Performers included: the Doors, Alice Cooper, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry. The highlight for many was the appearance of John Lennon. Lennon was backed by the Plastic Ono Band, then comprised of Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman, and Alan White (w/occasional vocals by Yoko). "We're just gonna do numbers we know because we've never played together before." D.A. Pennebaker filmed it . YouTube videos of Lennon's set: Blue Suede Shoes, Money, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Yer Blues, Cold Turkey, and Give Peace a Chance. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 1:05 PM PST - 11 comments

This site guessed it!

Badass of the Week. Feeling uninspired? Certain that the world is utterly bereft of all things baddass? Well, go get your weekly dose of inspiration! [more inside]
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:27 AM PST - 27 comments

Since when does Hollywood shy away from controversy?

The Producer Cites Religious Controversy. The Director points to a recessionary trend against "serious" movies. A new film about Charles Darwin's life ("Creation") is reportedly having difficulty finding a US distributor. ( Creation: IMDB / Official Site / Trailer / Spoiler-laden review from Roger Ebert / LA Times review // Darwin: Previously on MeFi).
posted by zarq at 10:25 AM PST - 69 comments

A Talking Head Dreams of a Perfect City

David Byrne's Perfect City Osaka's robot-run parking lots mixed with the Minneapolis lakefront; a musician's fantasy metropolis [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:41 AM PST - 18 comments

Batman dies in cloud of poison gas – unless you actually buy the game

DRM as a cloud of poison gas. Run an illegally-downloaded prerelease version of the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman always dies in a vat of poison gas. Run the legit version once it gets released and (apparently) there won’t even be any poison gas. (Game developers: “[Y]ou have encountered... a hook in the copy protection, to catch out people who try and download cracked versions of the game for free. It’s not a bug in the game’s code, it’s a bug in your moral code.”)
posted by joeclark at 9:24 AM PST - 324 comments

The Mine Whisperer.

As a child soldier in Cambodia's notorious Khmer Rouge army Aki Ra laid many landmines. He now clears these deadly bombs with a stick and a pocketknife, more than 10,000 to date. It is very dangerous. No one pays him to do it. Aki is the real deal.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:33 AM PST - 63 comments

House Beautiful

Maynard L. Parker was an architectural photographer whose work appeared for much of the 20th century in House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Sunset Magazine and many covers for the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine, which was then called Home. He photographed many well-known architectural homes, including the work of Richard Neutra and Frank Lloyd Wright. Over 58,000 of those photographs are now available through the Huntington Library. Here are some examples.
posted by vronsky at 8:33 AM PST - 3 comments

ManLaw #1 - Profit!

A ManCave "advisorship" offers real men the opportunity to host MEATings (think male-targeted "Purse Party" or "Passion Party") where pink is forbidden, beer is Never, Ever, Seriously, Never refused, and various other bro codes are always in effect. [more inside]
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:01 AM PST - 100 comments

Norman Borlaug

Norman Borlaug, "the plant scientist who did more than anyone else in the 20th century to teach the world to feed itself," has died at age 95. On the staff of the Rockefeller Foundation in Mexico, Borlaug "developed a “miracle wheat” that tripled grain output and moved the country to self-sufficiency. Dr. Borlaug then took his high-yield, disease-resistant wheat to Pakistan and India, averting the mass famine and starvation that had been widely predicted." Yet, despite his achievement, and being one of only five people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, Borlaug was hardly a household name: a 1997 Atlantic profile described him as the "forgotten benefactor of humanity."
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:41 AM PST - 118 comments

September 12

"I wish Phil Spector were here..."

Zombies Vs Beatles (slyt)
posted by Artw at 11:30 PM PST - 30 comments


"What do you get when you combine the worst economic downturn since the Depression with the first black president? A surge of white racial resentment, loosely disguised as a populist revolt."
posted by cashman at 9:11 PM PST - 691 comments

The Sheffield Museum of Anaesthesia

The Sheffield Museum of Anaesthesia presents its collection of mysterious, terrifying antique items once used to render people unconscious.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:45 PM PST - 25 comments

math and music

Canon 1 à 2 from J. S. Bach (slyt) For you math teachers out there....the Crab Canon
posted by HuronBob at 7:27 PM PST - 14 comments

Neil Peart

When not sitting down at his drum kit, Rush's Neil Peart often sits down to write thoughtfully about his life. A look into the current world of an atypical rock musician, who's moved on after some considerable pain.
posted by davebush at 6:53 PM PST - 17 comments

It's (going to be) a (not quite as) small world

Today at the D23 Expo (a huge exposition for hardcore Disney fans), Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Jay Rasulo announced a huge expansion of Fantasyland at Walt Disney World. The Disney fan community had been buzzing about this since blueprints for the makeover were leaked to the web two months ago. With the official announcement came this artist's conception of the makeover, as well as artwork for the new Little Mermaid dark ride (which is also being built at Disney's California Adventure, although with a different facade). This is the largest expansion in the 33 year history of the Magic Kingdom, and is Disney's answer to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening at the competing Universal Studios theme park in 2010. In addition to the changes at the Magic Kingdom, Disney also announced a new 3D update to the aging Star Tours ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Despite all of the new changes, the monorail will remain unaffected.
posted by Lokheed at 4:19 PM PST - 38 comments

Explore the most beautiful, most repulsive city in the world through the photography of Brian Scott.

Winnipeg: Love and Hate [more inside]
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 3:21 PM PST - 48 comments

Swallow your pride

If you love your country and you also love to eat, you might like national flags made out of food. Or the UK made from candy. Or the United Steaks of America. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:31 PM PST - 19 comments


To jump straight into it, what made you decide to make a game involving rape? Inspiration was mostly personal, I’ve known a few girls who have been through similar situations, which sparked the concept. As far as the experience, I wanted to inspire emotion in the player, even if its vile and disgusting.
Edmund is game designer Paul Greasley's contribution to indie PC gaming web site TIGSource's competition's adult section. Gamers react. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:27 PM PST - 119 comments

Jonathan S. Landay reporting from Afghanistan

We walked into a trap, a killing zone of relentless gunfire and rocket barrages from Afghan insurgents hidden in the mountainsides and in a fortress-like village where women and children were replenishing their ammunition.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:14 PM PST - 55 comments

Why Can't She Walk To School?

“She’s just so pretty. She’s just so...blond.’ A friend said, ‘I heard that Jaycee Dugard story and I thought of your daughter.’ And they say, ‘I’d never do that with my kid: I wouldn’t trust my kid with the street.’”
posted by william_boot at 1:21 PM PST - 135 comments

"Ruthlessly simple and mind-boggling"

Never Again is a novel in which no word occurs more than once. Published in Ubuweb's contemporary collection. [more inside]
posted by kenko at 12:54 PM PST - 101 comments

Saturday Morning Cartoons

How about some saturday morning cartoons, compliments of The Animation Show's Blog? [more inside]
posted by mrzarquon at 12:16 PM PST - 2 comments

Making Space Omelettes

Last Tuesday, The Augstine Commission - an independent council created earlier this year to study NASA's human spaceflight objectives - released their findings. While many are responding to the report's grim findings on NASA's budget woes, former aerospace engineer Rand Simberg has a criticism of his own: "If our attitude toward the space frontier is that we must strive to never, ever lose anyone, it will remain closed. If our ancestors who opened the west, or who came from Europe, had such an attitude, we would still be over there, and there would have been no California space industry to get us to the moon forty years ago. It has never been 'safe' to open a frontier, and this frontier is the harshest one that we've ever faced."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:59 AM PST - 104 comments


Net Hoax Convinces Germany of Fake U.S. Suicide Bombing Attempt All of Germany was bamboozled Thursday by a bizarre scheme that tricked the country’s main wire service into reporting an attempted suicide bombing in a California town — an attack supposedly perpetrated by a non-existent rap group called the “Berlin Boys.” [more inside]
posted by chillmost at 10:20 AM PST - 18 comments

déjà vu is usually a glitch in the Matrix. It happens when they change something.

The Muppets and Gnosticism [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 9:23 AM PST - 25 comments

Not the princess you're expecting

The Art of Jeffery Thomas [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 8:43 AM PST - 11 comments

putting the fur into Für Elise

The sounds of a loon, two owls, cat, wood stork and cuckoo are the sole musical instruments in this furry arrangement of the classic, "Fur Elise," composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. The Dance of the Sugar Plum Furry, trained flies, underwater astonishments, make new animals and more at Switcheroo Zoo. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 5:50 AM PST - 26 comments

George and Lynne live in the mid to late seventies.

George And Lynn Explained (George And Lynn Explained, explained) Mildly NSFW cartoon nudity
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:45 AM PST - 31 comments

Rethinking how we run our businesses.

Dan Pink gives Ted Talk. [more inside]
posted by RoseyD at 2:35 AM PST - 22 comments

September 11

Advanced DOS Strategies

Sit back, relax, and we will take you through a most interesting voyage through your computer and its Disk Operating System
posted by jpdoane at 11:41 PM PST - 37 comments

What's a city without a public library?

As part of what Mayor Michael Nutter has dubbed the "Plan C" budget, the Free Library of Philadelphia (the Pennsylvania city's public library system), chartered in 1891, will close all its branches and cease all services October 2, 2009, unless measures to raise sales tax and delay some pension payments are approved by the State Legislature in Harrisburg. The closing could be a huge blow for a city whose most famous citizen, Benjamin Franklin, founded The Library Company of Philadelphia, the United States' first successful lending library, there in 1731. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 10:37 PM PST - 97 comments

The Other Architect of 9/11

While newly released images of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed have brought "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks" back into the public eye just before their anniversary, it was his skyscraper-hating lieutenant Mohamed Atta who had trained to be an architect before becoming an airborne suicide terrorist. Slate's Daniel Brook goes on a three-part expedition in search of Atta's architectural education, from despised tourist projects in Cairo's dilapidated Islamic Quarter to utopian urban planning for an idealized "Islamic-Oriental City" like Aleppo. [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:59 PM PST - 51 comments

An unfunny thing happened

Larry Gelbart, one of the great stage, screen and television writers has died.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:00 PM PST - 34 comments

Shellshocked and awed...

Loved Nanaca Crash? Want to hurl a turtle instead? Toss the Turtle will be right up your alley. Easy concept, shoot turtle from cannon and watch him bounce and blow up as he careens across the screen. Enjoy!
posted by schyler523 at 7:25 PM PST - 23 comments

Fish got your tongue?

Tongue-eating parasite found (with freak-you-out pic) off Jersey coast. Sweet dreams mefites.
posted by zerobyproxy at 7:24 PM PST - 57 comments

Akira Kurosawa

Kurosawa: The Last Emperor documentary by Alex Cox (Repo Man). Featuring Francis Coppola, John Woo, Bernardo Bertolucci, Paul Verhoeven, Arturo Ripstein, Andrei Konchalovsky, Mike Hodges, and Kasuko Kurosawa. 50mins.
posted by vronsky at 6:25 PM PST - 11 comments

Tonight's Gonna Be A Good Night

The Black Eyed Peas perform at Oprah's Season Premiere -- 21,000 dancers join in. [more inside]
posted by empath at 6:10 PM PST - 80 comments

Death's Blog

Death's Blog
posted by Joe Beese at 1:40 PM PST - 44 comments

Hippos in Colombia

Colombia Confronts Drug Lord’s Legacy: Hippos "In what ecologists describe as possibly the continent’s most ambitious effort to assemble a collection of species foreign to South America, Escobar imported animals like zebras, giraffes, kangaroos, rhinoceroses and, of course, hippopotamuses. Some of the animals died or were transferred to zoos around the time Mr. Escobar was killed. But the hippos largely stayed put, flourishing in the artificial lakes dug at Mr. Escobar’s behest."
posted by dhruva at 11:11 AM PST - 86 comments

seeking to incite select individuals from the public at large, perhaps you

Under the rainbow: an introduction to the off-kilter world of Mark Jenkins. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:53 AM PST - 17 comments

Advertising in the public interest

"What if America wasn't America?" That was the question posed by a series of ads broadcast in the wake of the September 11th attacks, ads which depicted a dystopian America bereft of liberty: Library - Diner - Church. Together with more positive ads like Remember Freedom and I Am an American, they encouraged frightened viewers to cherish their freedoms and defend against division and prejudice in the face of terrorism (seven years previously). The campaign was the work of the Ad Council, a non-profit agency that employs the creative muscle of volunteer advertisers to raise awareness for social issues of national importance. Founded during WWII as the War Advertising Council, the organization has been behind some of the most memorable public service campaigns in American history, including Rosie the Riveter, Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog, and the Crash Test Dummies. And the Council is still at it today, producing striking, funny, and above all effective PSAs on everything from student invention to global warming to arts education to community service.

Additional resources: A-to-Z index of Ad Council campaigns - Campaigns organized by category - Award-winning campaigns - PSA Central: A free download directory of TV, radio, and print PSAs (registration req'd) - An exhaustive history of the Ad Council [46-page PDF] - YouTube channel - Vimeo channel - Twitter feed
posted by Rhaomi at 9:54 AM PST - 68 comments

Alan Lomax at Fyffe

Fifty years ago, Alan Lomax (folk music collector) recorded the first United States Sacred Harp Musical Association convention at Fyffe, Alabama. His recordings, published by the Library of Congress and later reissued by Rounder records, introduced Sacred Harp music to a wide audience outside the South. And, with the influx of many non-traditional singers since then, his recording is one of the best testaments to traditional Sacred Harp singing. This Saturday and Sunday, the United States Sacred Harp Musical Association returns to Fyffe. Get there early--it's going to be crowded. But check Youtube, Flickr and Facebook in the next few days--there's bound to be plenty of modern field recordings of the event. (Previously: Singing School, 'The Lost Tonal Tribe').
posted by wfitzgerald at 8:54 AM PST - 10 comments

Saving Face

Dahlia Lithwick (previously) is trying to write a chick-lit novel in nineteen days.
posted by Iridic at 8:12 AM PST - 61 comments

I am your secret scary friend

Today marks the end of John Allison's webcomic Scary Go Round. [more inside]
posted by explosion at 7:50 AM PST - 41 comments

Why he will not read your fucking script

"I will not read your fucking script."
posted by Artw at 7:46 AM PST - 413 comments

Move over Suez Canal, there's a new route in town

For hundreds of years, mariners have dreamed of an Arctic shortcut that would allow them to speed trade between Asia and the West. Two German ships are poised to complete that transit for the first time, aided by the retreat of Arctic ice that scientists have linked to global warming. Arctic Shortcut Beckons Shippers as Ice Thaws.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:40 AM PST - 20 comments

Tackling life's dailly dilemmas, perplexiing predicaments, and intriguing obstacles

If you can't Ask MetaFilter, try asking What Would Rob Do? In his podcast, "NPR's Rob Sachs talks about life's sticky situations and how turn them into an opportunity for adventure, growth, or at the very least, laughter." Like how to propose, or if that doesn't work, what to do when you run into your ex (Mp3) (turns out being calm and collected beats out feigning not to have made eye contact), how to talk to strangers (Mp3), sing a lullaby (by interviewing Rob Springfield), or how to, you know, avoid, um, Verbal Ticks. Each podcast episode is an interview with one kind of expert or another. Some posts also go on the Monkey See blog as well as a facebook fan page.
posted by pithy comment at 7:21 AM PST - 3 comments

Um, Mike, I think my dogs can do that

As an evolutionary anthropologist, I find it is important to consider the evolution of other speci...OMG PUPPIES Photos! Video! who's a good boy?
posted by device55 at 7:18 AM PST - 38 comments

Beyond war and crisis

Sustainable Security is a website launched this month by the Oxford Research Group "to be an important platform for promoting a better understanding of the real threats to global security in the 21st century and the policies that should be implemented to address those threats at their root cause." It highlights "four interconnected drivers of global insecurity: climate change; competition over natural resources; global militarism; and poverty and marginalisation. Prof. Paul Rogers makes the case for a rethink of the security paradigm.
posted by Abiezer at 6:02 AM PST - 10 comments

September 10

Information from the School of Information

Great free lectures online from the School of Information at Berkeley. The lectures are from 2007 to the present and include (among many others): [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 10:10 PM PST - 10 comments

Sorry, Alan.

UK government apologizes to Alan Turing. It might be a long time overdue, but it's a really nice apology. [previously]
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:10 PM PST - 124 comments

More than just beautiful minds

Photographer Mariana Cook has a new book of portraits of well-known mathematicians. Here's a slideshow with some interesting audio, and more of the photographs.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 8:51 PM PST - 10 comments

History of the Soviet Union via Tetris

The Pig With The Face Of A Boy are an anti-folk band whose free set rocked this years Edinburgh festival. Most of their stuff won't rock your world, but their History of the Soviet Union to the theme of Tetris is awesome. [more inside]
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:32 PM PST - 23 comments

The latest fashions from Bedrock Vogue

34,000 year old fibers found in Georgia. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 7:31 PM PST - 34 comments

Much Cooler Than Ceiling Cat!

There's ceiling cat, then there is this! Be sure to watch the video. (via.)
posted by cjorgensen at 6:45 PM PST - 28 comments

The Iron Lady ❤s The Iron Curtain

New Documents from the Soviet Archives reveal that as the Warsaw Pact was falling apart, Margaret Thatcher called Gorbachev to inform him that:
The reunification of Germany is not in the interests of Britain and Western Europe. It might look different from public pronouncements, in official communiqué at Nato meetings, but it is not worth paying ones attention to it. We do not want a united Germany. This would have led to a change to post-war borders and we can not allow that because such development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security. In the same way, a destabilisation of Eastern Europe and breakdown of the Warsaw Pact are also not in our interests.
This backs up assertions from former German Chancellor Kohl's new memoir that Thatcher put up obstacles to German Re-unification, fearing the rise of a Fourth Reich.
posted by empath at 6:04 PM PST - 76 comments

It's Thursday evening in the 21st century and I still don't have a jetpack. And now mice can hover. It's unfair.

Somewhere on Earth, in a laboratory, a mouse is levitating. Science is awesome.
posted by ardgedee at 5:39 PM PST - 60 comments

Let's ride bikes!

Ride a Bike through an Architectural Drawing: no, really.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:59 PM PST - 33 comments

Downward Dog

Yoga Dogs as photographed by Dan Borris.
posted by gman at 4:10 PM PST - 27 comments

Research correlates inequality with religiosity

In this episode of Radio 4's Thinking Allowed, Professor David Voas explains old secularisation theory was that, as a nation modernised, its religiosity would decline with which the US obviously doesn't conform. In the show Dr Tom Rees explains his new theory that addresses this anomaly. Having researched religiosity in 50 countries he has discovered a correlation (although no causality) between a country's level of personal insecurity (using inequality as a measure for this) and its religiosity. Professor Paul C Vitz is approaching this issue from a different angle, questioning not why do people become religious, but why do they become atheists.
posted by NailsTheCat at 2:36 PM PST - 97 comments

Animation by Daniel Greaves

2D characters in a 3D world: Flatworld (part 1, part 2, part 3). One of the many funny, clever, and innovative animations by Daniel Greaves of Tandem Films. [more inside]
posted by Paragon at 2:30 PM PST - 6 comments

The Market for Lemons, or Thieves Discount the Value You(r Identity)

Calculate the value of your identity on the black market, based on how you access your financial information, your involvement in social and file-sharing networks, and security software installed. Spoiler: it's less than you imagine, as using the data is riskier than stealing the data, and the thieves market is polluted by liars (you can read more in the 12 page Microsoft research PDF). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:37 PM PST - 34 comments

Time is the universal frequency of synchronization, mathematically expressed as a ratio constant, 13:20

Welcome to the official website of the Galactic Research Institute of the Foundation for the Law of Time (via i09)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:24 PM PST - 42 comments

Know Thy Congressman

Know Thy Congressman (an Apps for America Project of Sunlight Labs) provides a handy bookmarklet that lets you get a quick overview of Congresscritters that you might not be familiar with. The winners for Round Two of Apps for America (focusing on were announced yesterday. [more inside]
posted by sciurus at 11:29 AM PST - 14 comments

World Cup 2010: Little guys play too

What`s great about the World Cup of football is that everyone gets a chance to qualify, against all odds. This week was a fascinating week of World Cup qualifying matches around the world. But while the world's attention was focused on Portugal and Argentina and France and Cameroon and England, among others, a small victory was won in a dusty forgotten corner of UEFA Group Seven. On Wednesday the Faroe Islands recorded their first cWorld Cup win , a 2-1 victory over Lithuania. [more inside]
posted by salishsea at 11:21 AM PST - 44 comments

La Pura Vida

La Pura Vida features monthly group shows edited by various photographers. [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 9:09 AM PST - 3 comments

Bone Loss at a loss

Up to 270 women with osteopenia would have to be treated with drugs for three years so that one of them could avoid a single vertebral fracture. Millions of women worldwide, have been told they have osteopenia and should take drugs to prevent bone loss. Drugs like Fosamax, Boniva and Actonel. But now many health public health experts say it's a case of disease-mongering. The WHO has stepped into the fray with an online diagnostic tool only to stir up its own controversy.
posted by storybored at 9:05 AM PST - 40 comments

"Folk music for people who don't like folk music."

Sometimes called The Barnsley Nightingale, British folk singer Kate Rusby was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 1999, and has won four BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Her cover of The Kinks' "Village Green Preservation Society" is the theme song for the TV show "Jam & Jerusalem." The Daily Telegraph called her "England's answer to Dolly Parton. Not in terms of the wigs and the sequins, but in her quaveringly sincere ability to tell a simple, downhome story in a song and make your heart ache for it." BBC says she performs "folk music for people who don't like folk music." [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 8:59 AM PST - 23 comments

Lower Your Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation

So, cell phones emit radiation. But how much does yours emit? Compare over 1,000 different cell phones and smartphones.
posted by amro at 8:27 AM PST - 197 comments

"I Think It's Time"

Published in 1989, Richard McGuire's Here is a 6 page comic that spans billions of years and about 25 square feet: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Special Bonus Student Film Adaptation For The Comic-Phobic [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:21 AM PST - 25 comments

The Five Best? Really?

PZ Myers takes on the Five Best arguments for creationism. PZ Myers (previously linked) is an apologist and vocal advocate of evolution. Because of his regular discussions about the distortions made by Creationists, he earned his place as one of the 'Top 5 media leftists who distort Americans' views on the Bush and Obama presidencies.' His reaction to joining such top Distortionists as Paul Krugman, Jon Meacham, Ezra Klein and more is pretty entertaining. And if you're interested in learning about the scientific answer to the multitude of creationist arguments, check this out.
posted by glaucon at 7:44 AM PST - 98 comments

World's Smallest Postal Service

Lea Redmond is Postmaster of 'The World's Smallest Postal Service'. In CA she sets up her tiny shop and sends miniature versions of transcribed letters, complete with little wax seals.
posted by cashman at 6:29 AM PST - 22 comments

(not-so) Real Housewives of Lancaster County

A new subgenre is rising to meet the significant demand for romance novels that won't corrupt the flesh: Amish Romances. The relatively chaste romances, mostly written by non-Amish authors, the books are selling well, with Cindy Woodsnall's Sisters of the Quilt trilogy leading the pack on the New York Times bestseller list, and many new authors jumping into the game.
posted by Miko at 5:21 AM PST - 34 comments


Galliard. Amienne. Miso. Postel. Is it a cheese? Or is it a font?
posted by Alt F4 at 5:13 AM PST - 30 comments

Oh dear god, the drill actually spins

Ever wanted to make a 100% accurate Big Daddy costume? Here's how. [more inside]
posted by permafrost at 4:00 AM PST - 42 comments

I now pronounce you...

Marriages from around the World.
posted by hadjiboy at 1:47 AM PST - 24 comments

Harmony Korine's Trash

Trash Humpers [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 1:02 AM PST - 43 comments

September 9

Terminating an Adoption

Anita Tedaldi shares her experience terminating an adoption at the NYTimes blog Motherlode. Her response to the support and criticism in comments is here; in a subsequent Motherlode post Lisa Belkin muses on the ethics of blogging about children.
posted by Anonymous at 10:43 PM PST - 53 comments

Republicans' Contempt For Obama Continues

Representative Joe Wilson, R-SC, shouted "You lie" during President Obama's health care speech to Congress. While it is quite 'common' to heckle the Prime Minister in the British House of Commons (yt), heckling a sitting President of the United States during a speech to Congress is simply Not Done. Until tonight (yt).
posted by andreaazure at 10:05 PM PST - 479 comments

Every Known Version of Every Infocom Adventure

Welcome to the complete online Infocom adventures page

Here you can find and play online every known version of every Infocom adventure.

What next?

posted by not_on_display at 9:32 PM PST - 94 comments

The renaissance of Latvia's ethnographic mittens

Knitting colourful and intricate wool mittens is a Latvian tradition. To welcome guests to a NATO summit in Riga in 2006, hundreds of knitters from around the country made 4500 pairs of mittens. The mittens were photographed individually before they were given away and arranged into galleries according to the region they came from. No two pairs are the same.
posted by bewilderbeast at 9:15 PM PST - 21 comments

When sports metaphors go horribly awry...

Most insensitive sports column ever? Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register muses about the kidnapping, rape, brainwashing and 18-year imprisonment of Jaycee Dugard, wondering what she missed in the sports world. "She never saw a highlight. Never got to the ballpark for Beach Towel Night. ... Mike Tyson now makes fun of himself in movies." [more inside]
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:38 PM PST - 50 comments

"Flowers are the expression of society."

Les Fleurs Animées by JJ Grandville, 1847. Brought to you by the perennial mefite favorite BibliOdyssey (Previously)
posted by hermitosis at 8:23 PM PST - 9 comments

Goodall Music

British composer and TV presenter Howard Goodall presents a documentary exploring the influences and theory behind the music of The Beatles, and the transformation of their sound over their recording career. Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on Youtube. But that's not all... [more inside]
posted by Magnakai at 7:15 PM PST - 30 comments

Proof That Birds are Composers

Proof That Birds are Secretly Composers
posted by azarbayejani at 6:56 PM PST - 23 comments

6.13 Seconds

A few months ago, The Cincinnati Zoo challenged Cheetah Outreach to a little race. At stake? The future of a species...and bragging rights as the world's fastest mammal.

Sarah, an eight-year-old cheetah from Cincinnati, made the first runs in this race. She set a record of 6.13 second over 100 meters. This shaved about 1/20 of a second off the old record (6.19 seconds). By way of comparison, Usain Bolt covers this distance in a leisurely 9.58 seconds.

South Africa's Cheetah Outreach's competitor, Zaza, will make her runs later this month or early next.
posted by MrGuilt at 6:17 PM PST - 24 comments

Atlanta Airport Chaplain

"I said, 'This is a dilemma, because if that was your 81-year-old grandmother sitting out there, you would be fit to be tied,' " Cook says. "And I said, 'I'm sure the news channels would love this story if I gave them a phone call.' " Being a chaplain at the Atlanta airport.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:00 PM PST - 63 comments

"Oh God, I could do better than that..."

Bored kid on a Friday night in 1974 in the States? The Midnight Special. Bored kid on a Friday night in the UK? The Old Grey Whistle Test! Wha… huh? On a shoestring budget of just £500 an episode, for 16 years the BBC2s OGWT played host to live performances* from some of the most influential musicians of the time at their artistic peaks. Like who? Well, there's… [more inside]
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:22 PM PST - 56 comments

Hindu festivals

The Big Picture: Recent Hindu festivals and rituals. "Many Hindus throughout India recently celebrated Ganesha Chaturthi, a 10-day festival celebrating the birth of Ganesh, their supreme god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. Hinduism, the predominant religion in India, is rich with traditional festivals and rituals, celebrated in many ways and locations around the world. Collected here are a few photographs from recent Hindu festivals and of Hindu devotees worshipping and practicing ritual ceremonies in India, England, Nepal and Indonesia."
posted by homunculus at 2:22 PM PST - 25 comments

Politics 101: Don't Brag About Your Sexploits in Public

Conservative Republican California State Assemblyman Michael Duvall (Orange County) didn't realize his mic was live, moments before the start of a legislative hearing this past July. So when the 54-year-old married father of two began describing his ongoing affairs with two different women in very graphic detail for the benefit of a colleague seated next to him, he had no idea that he was being recorded. The story was picked up by KCAL, who cited unnamed sources that said Duvall was describing affairs with two married lobbyists. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 1:35 PM PST - 216 comments

Have some art.

An ever-growing treasure trove of magazine cover and advertising art from the Golden Age of American illustration. Check out wonderful covers from Theatre Magazine, Adventure Magazine, the Argosy, Photoplay, and Black Mask. Here's a scary cover from Laughter magazine, a strange and beautiful Life cover from 1887, and a copy of The Liberator that I dearly wish I could flip through. See also collections of great old ads for soap, cigarettes and books, among others. The intro page is here.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:30 PM PST - 9 comments

There are more days to come

On Any Sunday is a 1971 film about motorcycling. Narrated by Bruce Brown (director of The Endless Summer, it features Mert Lawwill (who later developed a prosthetic for amputee riders), Malcolm Smith, and Steve McQueen, among others. It can be viewed in its entirety on Hulu. It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature in 1971, and reviewed by Roger Ebert in the same year.
posted by entropic at 1:30 PM PST - 11 comments

Things To Be Found On The Moon

Things To Be Found On The Moon
posted by yegga at 12:42 PM PST - 53 comments

"I would call this a blatant case of misjudgment fueled by an unfortunate milieu of assumption."

How Charlie Sheen spent his 20 minutes with Barack Obama
posted by miss lynnster at 12:29 PM PST - 117 comments

Galileo would be so proud.

Earlier today, NASA released the first photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope since it was refurbished last May - and the results are absolutely stunning.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:29 PM PST - 29 comments

A Compendium and Bestiary of the Unusual and Bizarre

The Ever So Strange Animal Almanac
posted by anastasiav at 12:23 PM PST - 9 comments

Cross Country in 4 Minutes

A road trip from San Francisco to Washington D.C. in time lapse.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:06 PM PST - 23 comments

Drawings of the American Civil War Era

The Becker Collection: Drawings of the American Civil War Era "..contains the hitherto unexhibited and undocumented drawings by Joseph Becker and his colleagues, nineteenth-century artists who worked as artist-reporters for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper observing, drawing, and sending back for publication images of the Civil War, the construction of the railroads, the laying of the trans-atlantic cable in Ireland, the Chinese in the West, the Indian wars, the Chicago fire, and numerous other aspects of nineteenth-century American culture." {artist biographies / subject browse} [via]
posted by peacay at 9:36 AM PST - 7 comments

The Self Storage Society

The Self-Storage Self (NYT) [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 9:21 AM PST - 57 comments

Dan Savage on Youtube

"The One is a lie. Every long term relationship is a myth, and myths are built of lies. What's beautiful about a long term relationship is that I pretend that my boyfriend is the lie I met, when I first met him, and he does the same favor to me. You become The One because someone is willing to pretend you are." Dan Savage on The Price of Admission [SLYT]. [more inside]
posted by PercussivePaul at 8:47 AM PST - 142 comments

"No good ever comes of gentleman amateurs buying and selling"—Milton

Oxfam, the 67-year-old Oxford-based confederation of multinational organizations, spends more than $600 million a year around the world fighting poverty, famine, climate change and discrimination. $32 million of that budget comes from book sales at its 130 second-hand bookshops in the UK, making them the second largest retailer of second-hand books in Europe. Now, independent booksellers are beginning to speak out about the competition. On the BBC, in the Telegraph, the Guardian, and the New York Times, some British booksellers are questioning the wisdom of charities using chain stores to raise funds. Are they “destroying lives here to save them elsewhere” as they’ve been accused of by one former UK bookseller, or is this the logical economic result of “the English town with the secondhand bookshop everybody loves but most people never actually go into.” as David McCullough, director of trading for Oxfam recently speculated?
posted by Toekneesan at 8:28 AM PST - 39 comments

Vintage Kids' Stuff

Illustrator Glen Mullaly archives hundreds of vintage illustrations in his flickr stream. [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:18 AM PST - 11 comments

How To Run a B&B in Baghdad

Adam Davidson, of Planet Money fame, was a reporter in Iraq. While there, Davidson decided to rent a house. To pay the rent, he decided to sublet rooms out to other journalists. You can read about his misadventures as a landlord in Baghdad here, and listen to the account on this episode of This American Life
posted by reenum at 7:07 AM PST - 14 comments

a cool cat

Woody the cat freshens up and has a sip while jazz is playing. [slyt]
posted by nickyskye at 6:34 AM PST - 62 comments

Hold still!

From the same wicked awesome site that brought you the totally unofficial Ren and Stimpy soundtrack, Kirk Demarais gets nostalgic, drawing family portraits of cult-famous families of the last three decades. Take a stroll down memory lane with the Torrances, the Lundegaardes, the Griswolds, and other infamous families. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:21 AM PST - 5 comments

One giant leap for Chinese Internet Censorship

Chinese news site dispense with user anonymity. Includes an updated list of sites China actively blocks, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International (?!? - both links work only outside of China). prev
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:18 AM PST - 40 comments

Hang on!

Bass Strait is the stretch of water separating Tasmania from the Australian mainland. It's a treacherous stretch of water, about 240km wide. These two guys just kite-surfed across it in 12 hours. (Pre-crossing forum discussion.)
posted by awfurby at 2:55 AM PST - 8 comments

They supply the magic.

Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty is a blog featuring selected drawings by Isaac age 10; Grace, 9; and Lily, who is 6. They participate in Illustration Friday, and even do book reviews. Recently, to celebrate the 3rd year anniversary of the blog, their father asked readers to submit some 'fan art' using past CNLT drawings as inspiration. Here are the submitted art works, accompanied by the original drawings that inspired them. [more inside]
posted by thread_makimaki at 2:03 AM PST - 38 comments

September 8

9-9-09 Ten years past and still fun

"There's no sense mourning the Dreamcast's untimely demise. For as brief as its moment in the sun was, it lived two lives. In fact, the DC had more first-party titles in its short life than either the GameCube or the Xbox, and their quality can hardly be denied. Many hardware manufacturers have come and gone, but it's unlikely any will go out with half as much class as SEGA." Where were you on 9-9-99? IGN's the History of the Dreamcast. [more inside]
posted by Arbac at 10:33 PM PST - 100 comments

Futura vs. Verdana it ain't

A.N. Palmer's The Palmer Method of Business Writing presents the curvaceous and flowing handwriting system that generations of students learned in U.S. elementary schools, before educational priorities shifted. As neat writing falls by the wayside, some have even pronounced the death of handwriting. Still, bad handwriting can have serious consequences. An op-ed in the N.Y. Times provides hope for the future.
posted by chrchr at 8:08 PM PST - 61 comments

Chuck Klosterman Repeats The Beatles

"Like most people, I was initially confused by EMI’s decision to release remastered versions of all 13 albums by the Liverpool pop group Beatles, a 1960s band so obscure that their music is not even available on iTunes." -- Chuck Klosterman Repeats The Beatles
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:38 PM PST - 80 comments

Heathcare News: Public option hangs in the balance, Is reform without it even a good idea?

"Employer Requirement in Baucus Health Package Would Have Unintended Effect of Discouraging Hiring of Low-Income and Minority Workers." Robert Reich channels his inner Don Draper to sell the public option, while Josh Marshall wonders if the current plans are even a good idea. Rep. Raul Grijalva claims that progressives in the house arn't Prepared to Surrender on the public option, and Obama's Speech before congress is tomorrow. [more inside]
posted by delmoi at 7:12 PM PST - 63 comments

Oh, honey, you know what they're going to do, right?

Directions from a producer to runway models to "Sex it up, ladies! Sexier! And Shera—no more tanning" might not be all that unexpected. The person giving the direction is a little atypical, however. So is how her story came to be published on the online resource for sports photography.
posted by minimii at 5:58 PM PST - 9 comments

Now here's my post

An Impolite Interview with Shel Silverstein from The Realist, August 1961. "There were some pretty horrendous experiences in the YMCA, too. Because at the time I thought this was a place where all the he-men gather. Where young Christian men gather, and you know. And it's not quite like that. It makes Sixth Avenue and 8th Street late at night look like a cub scout meeting. Q. For the Benefit of our out-of-town readers, could you be more specific? A. Faggots!" [more inside]
posted by geoff. at 5:11 PM PST - 165 comments

Fun With Flammable Household Materials

Cremora Explosion (courtesy of Mythbusters). Almost any fine, flammable material will make a nice fireball if ignited while dispersed. (for example: grain elevator explosions.) Mythbusters, as usual, take it to another level. Bonus: How to make your own. [more inside]
posted by empath at 4:29 PM PST - 35 comments

Makes writing letters a breeze.

Make your handwriting into a font! [more inside]
posted by Korou at 4:18 PM PST - 52 comments

Potholes on the road to a green future

Inspired by a recent Wall Street Journal* article, Robert Rapier, chemical engineer, peakist, blogger, and currently chief technology officer for a bioenergy company, reviews the pretenders, contenders, and niche players in the emerging field of green energy, with particular consideration of liquid fuels. Meanwhile, the boffins at Foreign Policy consider the risks of the coming of the green energy era, and depict the end of the oil age. (Both part of FP's extensive look at the end of oil; previously.) [more inside]
posted by Diablevert at 2:49 PM PST - 19 comments

Maybe it ain't so...

Did "Shoeless" Joe Jackson help the 1919 "Black Sox" baseball team throw the World Series? The book Eight Men Out by Eliot Asinof seems to say he did. While Eight Men Out is a fictional book, it has served as the basis of many people's understanding of the Black Sox events. However, Asinof's papers, containing research related to writing the book, include fictional resources cited as being real and an overstatement of the importance of resources that actually existed. More importantly, the notes shed new light on the involvement of "Shoeless" Joe himself.
posted by elder18 at 2:07 PM PST - 56 comments

Arab-European League to be prosecuted for anti-semitic cartoon.

The Arab-European League, an organization dedicated to "Rights of the Arab and Moslem communities in Europe and the Arab causes in general," has been charged with breaking a Netherlands law against "inciting hatred". [more inside]
posted by R_Nebblesworth at 1:50 PM PST - 55 comments

What... is the Airspeed Velocity of an Avian Carrier?

For thousands of years they were the worlds' fastest means of communication. Count Rothschild benefited financially when knew of Napoleon's defeat long before any other persons in England, thanks to a swift personal message. One critical message traveled 20 miles in 20 minutes and this speedy delivery saved 150 British troops from disaster by less than five minutes. But in 1851, German-born Paul Julius Reuter opened an office in the City of London which transmitted stock market quotations between London and Paris via the new Dover-Calais cable, and the days of pigeon post as a means of quick and reliable message transfer passed with the implementation of wire-based communications. Reuter had previously used pigeons to fly stock prices between Aachen and Brussels, a service that operated for a year until a gap in the telegraph link was closed. One of the last large-scale use of carrier pigeons ended in 2002, when India retired its Police Pigeon Service, opting for email and telephone to access remote areas. Contrary to appearances, this was not the end of the pigeon post. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:03 PM PST - 48 comments

Steel Harmony performing "Transmission" by Joy Divison

Steel Harmony performing "Transmission" by Joy Divison at a parade. (SLYT 4.22 minutes) [more inside]
posted by josher71 at 12:48 PM PST - 29 comments

Graphic Sexual Horror, a documentary

A new documentary chronicles the rise and fall of, one of the early websites. (NSFW) Co-directors Anna Lorentzon and Barbara Bell look at Insex, the people behind it, and the forces that ultimately brought it down. The stuff that Insex did tends to make even hardcore kinksters flinch a bit. However, as one reviewer points out, they at least put the activities into context, showing the performers both in the scenes (which include drowning and suffocation--some of this stuff may really hit some triggers for some people), as opposed to the notorious anti-porn documentary, The Price of Pleasure, which showed sex and kink without exploration of the performers' lives offscreen. One of the most interesting aspects of the film is that they ultimately were shut down not by obscenity laws, but by federal authorities who used the PATRIOT Act to claim that hardcore porn funded terrorism.
posted by Stochastic Jack at 11:01 AM PST - 97 comments

"Our greatest primary task is to put people to work."

Bridge to Somewhere: Lessons from the New Deal, an American RadioWorks documentary, chronicles Roosevelt's recovery-through-work programs (the CCC, the WPA, and the PWA) and their lasting impact on America's infrastructure. Rich with oral histories and actualities.
posted by Miko at 10:58 AM PST - 18 comments

Mardi Gras in a can.

It has a key, like a Ferarri! Quintron and Miss Pussycat. Puppet shows, Innovative drum machines, nightclub proprietorship, Touring performances, Recorded artistry. Is there anything they don't do?
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 8:45 AM PST - 27 comments

my pirate is your freedom-fighter

The amazing story of Jan Janszoon van Salee who ended his life in New Utrecht (one of the early nuclei of todays New York). A tale that involves barbary corsairs, the sack of Reykjavik and Baltimore Ireland, slaves, conversion to Islam, capture by the Maltese Knights, escape, etc. etc. and finally New Utrecht. [more inside]
posted by jouke at 8:33 AM PST - 16 comments

Securitizing Life Settlements

Goldman will package a bunch of life insurance policies of individuals with an alphabet soup of diseases: AIDS, leukemia, lung cancer, heart disease, breast cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. The idea is to diversify across diseases to protect “investors” from the horror that a cure might be found for one or more afflictions–prolonging life and reducing profits. These policies are the collateral behind securities graded by those same ratings agencies that thought subprime mortgages should be as safe as US Treasuries. Investors purchase the securities, paying fees to Wall Street originators. The underlying collateralized humans receive a single pay-out. Securities holders pay the life insurance premiums until the “collateral” dies, at which point they receive the death benefits. Naturally, managed money hopes death comes sooner rather than later. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 8:25 AM PST - 75 comments

Chick was fucking messed up, dudes. But she could scan like shit.

Dudes! Did you see the library they've got here? Dude, they've got the latest computerized catalog system—just roll right up to a terminal, type in your search terms, and it gives you a list of titles and call numbers, plus a little map to show you where they all are. Fucking Dewey decimal, man. It's tight. (SLMcSweeney's)
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:55 AM PST - 77 comments

Derren Brown: The Events

Derren Brown: The Events. On Wednesday 9th September 10:35, Derren Brown will predict the National Lottery immediately before the draw. On Friday he will reveal how it was done. As part of a four week series for Channel 4, he will be controlling the nation live, conducting a nationwide psychic experiment and finally a special on how to beat the casinos.
posted by ashaw at 6:31 AM PST - 323 comments

The Commons' Photostream

The Commons' Photostream from the National Library of New Zealand is a collection of late 19th and early 20th century photography. Includes a selection of stereographs from the collections of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington-based photographer William Hall Raine, and panoramas of New Zealand from Robert Percy Moore. There is lots, lots more, and the NLNZ is continuing to update regularly. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 6:31 AM PST - 6 comments

I am gravely disappointed. Again you have made me unleash my dogs of war.

From out of the shadow a red sword leapt flaming...Fire swords and how to make them (from scratch if you like). For performance or flaming sword fights. [more inside]
posted by Smedleyman at 3:59 AM PST - 18 comments

Super sweet online multiplayer Tetris

Oh woop de do it's Tetris on the internet. No seriously, Tetris Friends is awesome. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 1:59 AM PST - 44 comments

September 7

All Watched Over by Machines of Slicing, Dicing, Chopping, Mixing and Sorting Grace

They slice. They dice. They make tempura shrimp. I'm not exactly sure who or what PF Max Company is, but this collection of YouTube videos -- featuring factory machines designed to cut, slice, sort, and do unspeakable things to fish -- is fascinating to watch. There are dozens of videos; these were selected for their toe-tapping (rolling out imitation crab & scallop) musical accompaniment (shredding fish to make Surimi). ⚠Warning: these videos depict bad things happening to (dead) fish so if that upsets you, don't watch. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 11:54 PM PST - 47 comments

A Little to the Left

The Independent State of Samoa has just 200,000 citizens, but you can be sure many are a little less than placid today. They are undergoing a shift that few nations have done; one that may be as jarring as when Jekyll changes to Hyde. They are about to change lanes. In a big way. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser at 11:42 PM PST - 46 comments

Amchitka Nuclear Test Videos

Back in the early 1960s, Amchitka, a volcanic, tectonically unstable island in the Rat Islands group of the Aleutian Islands in southwest Alaska was selected by the United States Atomic Energy Commission to be the site for underground detonations of nuclear weapons. Three such tests were carried out and, thanks to Youtube, you too can watch some declassified US Government Amchitka test films. The first, named Long Shot, was an 80-kiloton blast (video) and was followed by Milrow (1-megaton) (video) and Cannikin (said to be under 5-megaton) (video). There's also a declassified video that discusses the program at Amchitka in more detail.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:33 PM PST - 10 comments

Monopoly and Google maps mashup

Tomorrow, Monopoly City Streets begins, introducing a world-wide game combining google maps and the classic family fight-starter. Buy any street in the world, build houses, hotels and more. Remember, property always goes up, and your siblings always cheat.
posted by pompomtom at 10:01 PM PST - 23 comments

non-flight of the unPhoenix

Abandoned PBY-5A Catalina Flying Boat in Saudi Arabia. More images. (via)
posted by Artw at 10:00 PM PST - 23 comments

Happiness is a warm puppy. ~Charles M. Schulz

Dogs were probably the first animals animals to be domesticated - because we wanted to eat them.
posted by bigmusic at 9:57 PM PST - 50 comments

Of course you are going to kill Hitler.

Timelines: Time Travel in Popular Film and TV is a beautiful visualization of that most favored science fiction gimmick. For a more thorough, but less pretty, view of science fiction that messes with history, there is a chronology of when 1,800 different alternate history stories deviate from our own time line. Also, a brief look at the logic of time travel in science fiction, and how it should work.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:12 PM PST - 15 comments

College for $99 a month

Will universities go the way of newspapers and the music industry? Says so right here. ITTET will students continue to pay huge tuition for college when they can get the same education on-line at a fraction of the cost? [more inside]
posted by cogneuro at 8:38 PM PST - 72 comments

13 more things that dont make sense

13 more things that don't make sense from the New Scientist. The original 13. Previously.
posted by shothotbot at 7:32 PM PST - 54 comments

The Future Gets Closer

The practical possiblility of augmented reality contact lenses. Contact lenses that reshape the eye. Bone-anchored hearing aids. Voice box transplant plans.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:02 PM PST - 22 comments

A new battle for the Plains of Abraham?

Two hundred and fifty years ago the Battle of the Plains of Abraham* took place in Quebec City. In a fight that lasted less than an hour (following a three-month siege throughout the summer of 1759), both generals died and the British won Quebec, soon becoming masters of most of North America. [more inside]
posted by zadcat at 6:54 PM PST - 91 comments

" They that die by famine die by inches." -- Matthew Henry

The winter of 1944–45 is known as the ‘Hunger Winter’ in The Netherlands, which was occupied by the Germans in May 1940. Beginning in September 1944, Allied troops had liberated most of the South of the country, but their advance towards the North came to a stop at the Waal and Rhine rivers and the battle of Arnhem. In support of the Allied war effort, the Dutch government in exile in London called for a national railway strike to hinder German military initiatives. In retaliation, in October 1944, the German authorities blocked all food supplies to the occupied West of the country. Despite the war, nutrition in The Netherlands had generally been adequate up to October 1944. Thereafter, food supplies became increasingly scarce. By November 26, 1944, official rations, which eventually consisted of little more than bread and potatoes, had fallen below 1000 kcal per day, and by April 1945, they were as low as 500 kcal per day. Widespread starvation was seen especially in the cities of the western Netherlands. Food supplies were restored immediately after liberation on May 5, 1945.
But for many, who weren't even born when it started, the hongerwinter continues. Why? In part because "certain environmental conditions early in human development can result in persistent changes in epigenetic information" via DNA methylation. Epigenetics seems like a little bit of Lamarckism: environmental effects on a parent -- or even a grandparent -- can be passed to offspring, even without permanent changes to DNA. (previously)
posted by orthogonality at 6:41 PM PST - 26 comments

Leave it to the production assistants to make the letter props.

Mr. Ward Cleaver
485 Mapleton Drive
Mayfield, State

My Dear Mr. Cleaver:

This paragraph has absolutely nothing to do with anything.
It is here merely to fill up space.

An industrious Leave it to Beaver viewer freeze-frames a scene from the second season (1958) to read the text on a letter that Ward is reading, a note from the Beav's principal. But not really...
posted by zardoz at 4:53 PM PST - 73 comments

My Gypsy childhood

Roxy Freeman was born into an Gypsy family. For years, her family travelled around Ireland in a horsedrawn wagon, without electricity or formal schooling, getting by on picking fruit and selling horses they bred, before settling in Norfolk. Roxy taught herself to read, devoured books, and, after travelling the world for a number of years, decided to go to university, a move which would require her to completely change her way of life. Living in a flat in Brighton, a way of life which she finds bizarre and alien, she has written about her childhood, her family's culture and the difficulties and prejudices she encountered, for the Guardian. [more inside]
posted by acb at 4:37 PM PST - 14 comments

The tale of the coelacanth

The amazing story of the coelacanth is one of the wonders of the living world that inspires marine biologists such myself. Coelacanths, part of the offshoot lineage of fishes known as "lobed finned ", are very different from typical "ray finned" fishes that you usually think of. Their bizarre lobed fins are thought to be an intermediate step between fish fins and amphibian legs. Scientists had known that these weird fish existed because of fossils for over a century, but we believed that they went extinct 65 million years ago... until a South African fisherman caught one in 1938. [more inside]
posted by WhySharksMatter at 2:47 PM PST - 49 comments

Capitalism Is Evil

Director Michael Moore now wants nothing less than the complete overthrow of the modern capitalist system. [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 12:25 PM PST - 329 comments

The Car Salesman

Interesting and somewhat nostalgic look at the car industry with a particular focus on the car salesmen. The history of the car salesman is shorter than the history of the car, but perhaps by no more than a few weeks. (The invention of the car was only slightly more significant than the invention of the market for cars.) In fact, we have a fairly good idea of who that first car salesman was: John North Willys [more inside]
posted by robbyrobs at 10:29 AM PST - 24 comments

On this labour day...

Social mobility, income inequality and wealth disparities. [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:13 AM PST - 53 comments

Pat & Mat, lovable Czech puppetmen who have complex solutions to simple problems

The puppets Pat and Mat are beloved everywhere their Rube Goldbergian antics have been shown on TV. A couple of inventive handymen they consistently solve simple problems in outlandish fashion. Pat and Mat traveled far afield from their Czechoslovakian origins thanks to their short running time and silence, which made translation unnecessary. Considered ideologically impure by Czech authorities, creators Lubomír Beneš and Vladimír Jiránek were allowed to make around 30 episodes by the Slovakian arm of the state television corporation. They continued making new episodes after Communist rule ended and production was kept going after they passed away. First, let me present my sentimental favorite, Wallpaper. Below the cut are all the episodes I could find online. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 8:53 AM PST - 27 comments

The FPP For Damned Intellectuals!

"[One] day around 1983, I saw an oversize magazine sticking out of the back of the bin with the word 'RAW' barely visible at the top. Hoping it was pornography, I pulled it out. Much to my disappointment, it wasn't, but I'd also never seen anything like it." - Chris Ware
An oral history of the seminal RAW Magazine: Part One, Life Before RAW | Part Two, Life After RAW [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:36 AM PST - 13 comments

William Friedkin's "Sorcerer"

How does a director follow up the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time*? (*adjusted for inflation) He remakes a French classic - taking an international cast to a Caribbean nation ruled by a military dictatorship, where hurricanes, irascibility, other difficulties take him far over a budget already large enough to be shared by two studios. The result is his personal favorite among his films. But deceptive marketing and cute robots contribute to its making back less than half of its costs. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 8:01 AM PST - 65 comments

All I want is a room somewhere

It was the best place to be, thought Wilbur, this warm delicious cellar, with the garrulous geese, the changing seasons, the heat of the sun, the passage of swallows, the nearness of rats, the sameness of sheep, the love of spiders, the smell of manure, and the glory of everything.” [more inside]
posted by nax at 7:57 AM PST - 7 comments

Catching up on webcomics, at your desired speed

"Have you ever found an interesting looking webcomic, looked at the archive, and thought: I can't start reading this! There are hundreds of strips to catch up on! Rather than spend a whole day or more bingeing on a comic archive, set up an Archive Binge feed. You can start from the beginning, or wherever you're up to. You can set your custom feed to deliver a strip every day, 4 strips every weekday, or whatever you want, up to 10 strips a day."
posted by jbickers at 2:57 AM PST - 24 comments

In no way related to the playing off of

The Cat Piano: an animated short by The People's Republic of Animation.
posted by fatllama at 1:01 AM PST - 32 comments

September 6

Giants and Spiders and Frogs, Oh My!

As many as 40 new species may have been discovered near the crater of a volcano in New Guinea. Not to alarm anyone but Fearless Giant Rats, Caterpillars that look like Snakes and Fanged Frogs have been spotted and are said to be at large. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser at 11:08 PM PST - 47 comments

The Sun Is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma

...the lyrics to that last song were basically taken from an encyclopedia written in the 50s, and since the 50s, some remarkable things have happened...
In 1959, a number of songs about science were released on an album called Space Songs. One of these was later covered by the band They Might Be Giants: Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass of Incandescent Gas). Only one problem: it isn't--the song was based on an incorrect text from 1951. So they wrote an answer song to themselves: Why Does The Sun Really Shine? (The Sun Is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma). Bonus link: see for yourself! (previously)
posted by Upton O'Good at 9:49 PM PST - 33 comments

Eat around the banana... It's just empty vitamins.

Are Froot Loops a Smart Choice? The New York Times questions new food labeling system. [more inside]
posted by sloe at 8:58 PM PST - 83 comments

Vertical Gardens

As a boy he grew plants up his bedroom wall. Patrick Blanc's most recent vertical garden is eight stories tall.
posted by alms at 8:29 PM PST - 27 comments

New classical music! With Twitter!

Found Songs.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 5:39 PM PST - 12 comments

Your favorite riff sucks.

100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs, in one take. List of song titles can be found here on the artist's page.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:42 PM PST - 88 comments

"the events in Postoloprty"

"Two hundred and fifty men were taken one day, another 250 the next, and a layer of earth was thrown in between," a policeman told a parliamentary inquiry in 1947. "They weren't all executed in a single night, but rather in stages." Often enough the condemned men were given a pick and shovel, and made to dig their own graves. The perpetrators didn't have many scruples. After all, they were sure they had high-level military backing...."The general told us, 'The fewer of them that remain, the fewer enemies we'll have.'"
Czech Town Divided over How to Commemorate 1945 Massacre [more inside]
posted by orthogonality at 2:59 PM PST - 33 comments

"Jia Junpeng, your mom is calling you to come home and eat."

China's latest Internet obsession began with an anonymous post on a computer gaming forum: "Jia Junpeng, your mom is calling you to come home and eat." [more inside]
posted by tapeguy at 12:28 PM PST - 34 comments

GQ bans Moscow blast article, bloggers catch up

It took spontaneously crowd-sourced translators less than 24 hrs to make an article on the FSB's (former KGB) alleged implication in the Moscow 1999 apartment blasts accessible in Russian. Before, distribution of the issue of GQ in Russia had been banned by the editor himself. The topic (although the allegations are anything else than new) became an instant top in the russian blogosphere today (dynamic listing, will change with time)
posted by megob at 12:17 PM PST - 22 comments

They Did That With a Box of Crayons

Previously we saw those who make art out of the wax crayon. The crayon is the simplest of mediums, one that we’ve all used at one time or another and most likely have lying around the house. There are also those who make art with the crayon: Jeffrey Robert | Don Marco | Tiona Marco.
posted by netbros at 10:16 AM PST - 15 comments

Old dogs photos, lost and found.

Old dog photos, lost and found. I’ve always loved and accumulated old photographs, but one day about 10 years ago I looked around my house and suddenly found all those long-dead babies and brides and wearers of extraordinary hats rather depressing. . . But I noticed that the dogs — frequent subjects of those black and white images, on purpose and not — seemed somehow to remain alive.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 8:44 AM PST - 10 comments

Bad Maxwell

posted by Confess, Fletch at 8:21 AM PST - 91 comments

the consumption renews the appetite

Seeking - How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting.
posted by nickyskye at 6:33 AM PST - 39 comments

Their bitter beer tastes lousy. Their ale is good

Finally got around to sending this log, it scares me to read it, I don’t understand how we got out alive... [PDF] Joel Punches' first-person account of a B-17F Navigator assigned to the 8AF, 385 BW, Great Ashfield England during 1943-1944. The diary chronicles his missions during that time - including his Escape and Evasion after being shot down over Hamburg. His fifth mission was Schweinfurt Ball Bearing Factory on 10/14/43.
posted by mattoxic at 5:52 AM PST - 40 comments

Choosing Thomas

Choosing Thomas. Thomas was diagnosed in the womb with trisomy 13, a fatal genetic disorder. T.K. and Deidrea Laux decided to carry him to term and give him what days they could.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:42 AM PST - 216 comments

"How is straight female interest in slash fiction like straight male interest in "shemale" models? And why in the world does this matter?"

The curious case of the game show neuroscientists, or how NOT to research an online community. Two researchers wade into fanfic community without due consideration, create shitstorm. More here.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 5:29 AM PST - 87 comments

September 5

Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa

Dweezil Zappa has turned 40. As if you cared.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:49 PM PST - 24 comments

A man and his blues

John Campbell was a blues guitarist from Shreveport, Louisiana, mostly known for his skill with the slide guitar. His career was cut short in 1993, on the brink of national and international fame, when he died of a heart attack at the age of 41. Over on youtube, user louisianahaywire has uploaded some live footage from a 1986 performance: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:01 PM PST - 5 comments

Darwin's Evolving Thoughts

The Preservation of Favoured Traces: a visualization of Charles Darwin's edits and additions to On the Origin of Species over the course of six editions. (via) [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 10:37 PM PST - 6 comments

The other problem with CO2- Ocean Acidification

Most people have heard about how rising CO2 levels are resulting in a changing global climate. Fewer have heard about the other consequence of rising CO2 levels- when the CO2 is absorbed into the oceans, it disassociates into carbonic acid. This alters the pH of our world's oceans, and it's called "Ocean Acidification". This changing ocean chemistry has many important and devastating consequences. [more inside]
posted by WhySharksMatter at 10:37 PM PST - 21 comments

Dark Behind It Rose The Forest

Inside America's most dangerous national forest.
posted by WPW at 4:00 PM PST - 42 comments

The rare soul of YouTube -- BeyondBodyAndSoul

YouTube user BeyondBodyAndSoul Collectors of rare funk & soul records on the internet are a dime a dozen, few have come close to the generosity and beat-digging wizardry of YouTube user & Philly resident BeyondBodyAndSoul. Enjoy!1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
posted by inquilab at 3:06 PM PST - 16 comments

Ikea Heights

Ikea Heights is an online video series (secretly shot inside the Burbank Ikea Store). Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4. Via.
posted by cashman at 2:50 PM PST - 26 comments


A new documentary by a Swedish-based Italian filmmaker examines how media mogul turned two-time president Silvio Berlusconi's 30-year grip on Italian television has shaped the country, its politics, its culture and society. Erik Gandini's Videocracy, which screens at the Venice Film Festival, starts 30 years ago, when Berlusconi introduced a quiz show whose female contestants stripped for the camera, and charts 30 years of showgirls, celebrities, reality TV shows and Berlusconi's rise to political power, and interviews characters of the system, including a talentless but fame-hungry TV contestant, a fascist-sympathising media fixer, and a paparazzo/extortionist turned celebrity. More details here and (with a trailer) here. [more inside]
posted by acb at 2:11 PM PST - 14 comments

"Lockerbie: Megrahi Was Framed"

"Lockerbie: Megrahi Was Framed" [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 1:53 PM PST - 37 comments

We understood one another better before ever I opened my mouth

Geoff Hunt has been painting cover art for Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series of historical novels since 1988. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 12:52 PM PST - 11 comments

They sure don't make nostalgia like they used to anymore.

Punctuality, privacy, dead time, concentration: all dead or dying at the hands of the Internet, according to this list in the Daily Telegraph.

Only at festivals with no Wi-Fi signals can the gullible be tricked into believing that David Hasslehoff [sic] has passed away. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:42 AM PST - 55 comments

The Weak Man Argument

The Weak Man Argument or Getting Duped: How the Media Messes with Your Mind. A variant of the 'Straw Man fallacy,' the 'weak man' doesn't misstate a rival's position like a 'straw man,' but instead chooses "the opposition’s weakest (or one of its weakest) arguments or proponents for attack." Originally proposed by Robert Talisse and Scott Aikin here. (pdf)
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:04 AM PST - 71 comments

Behold, Grand Central Dispatch: Apple is saying it doesn't have to be this way

John Siracusa's review of Snow Leopard is an instant classic, as James Fallows sez: "an impressive piece of technical writing." Altho, "apparently OS X doesn't support huge pages." Apple's example, btw, may have wider industry implications/applications.
posted by kliuless at 7:50 AM PST - 203 comments

10 Drogen

Ten drugs you should never take when driving a car Meinte ich, lustig noch wieder, und dann nochmal. [more inside]
posted by hypersloth at 1:45 AM PST - 65 comments

September 4

Russian Dam Disaster

On August 17th one of the worlds largest hydroelectric plants, Sayano–Shushenskaya in Russia, suffered a major catastrophe. [more inside]
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:59 PM PST - 40 comments

Gutsy Gourmet

Sure you like recipe websites, but do you ever wish they could have more auto-playing midis, exclamation points, all caps, and a charming disregard for political correctness? Filling this niche nicely is Gutsy Gourmet. [more inside]
posted by fontophilic at 10:19 PM PST - 13 comments

Back to self-school

The autodidact course catalog. Twenty-two professors at Johns Hopkins propose reading lists for courses of self-study, from "Society Can Be Dangerous To Your Health" to "Higher Mathematics in Nouns and Verbs" to "Biochemistry and Human Evolution (with Rather a Lot about Mitochondria.)" If you're not going back to school this week, why not take on one of these syllabi instead?
posted by escabeche at 7:30 PM PST - 42 comments

Barack Obama, President of the Divided States of America

Next Tuesday, Sept. 8, speaking at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va. President Obama will address the youth of America during a live television broadcast urging them to stay in school. Some school districts, bowing to parent pressure, have decided not to show the speech during school. [more inside]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:18 PM PST - 583 comments

bookless library

"When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books," said James Tracy, headmaster of Cushing and chief promoter of the bookless campus. Instead of a library, the academy is spending nearly $500,000 to create a learning center. Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine.
posted by tamarack at 3:58 PM PST - 126 comments

Friday Night, 1974, and there's nothing going on

Here’s a cool concept. Top breakthrough bands of the day playing LIVE on TV late every Friday night. Such was The Midnight Special - from 1972 - 1981 (though the glory days were the early to mid 70s, that lost decade somewhere between the meltdown of the hippie dream and the coincident eruptions of PUNK + DISCO upon planet rock). [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 3:34 PM PST - 45 comments

Burst of Beaden

Jon Klassen is an illustrator and designer, with a blog and a lovely website full of artwork, including The Miser (3:53, 2004, made with Kyle McQueen and Dan Rodrigues), An Eye for Annai (5:27, 2005, previously, also made with Dan Rodrigues, .MOV video link), an interpretation of a Mayan folktale (available in full in Flight vol 4, previously), The Adventures of Ship, a family art project, visual development and drawings for sets and props for the movie adaptation of Coraline (a couple previous), amongst other bits and bobs. Illustration Mundo had an interview with Klassen earlier this year.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:25 PM PST - 3 comments

"It is necessary to be bothered from time to time."

"It is a scene from which many of us would naturally recoil, or at least avert our eyes: a grievously injured young man, fallen on a rough patch of earth; his open-mouthed and unseeing stare registering — who can know what? — horror or fear or shock; being tended desperately by two companions in what are the first moments of the final hours of his life."
The New York Times' Lens Blog explores the circumstances and consequences of the Associated Press releasing Julie Jacobsen's photo depicting Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard after he was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in a Taliban ambush. [more inside]
posted by heeeraldo at 2:38 PM PST - 121 comments

He's good enough, he's smart enough, and doggone it, people like him.

Al Franken shows a revolutionary way to deal with an upset crowd - talk to them like adults.
posted by jbickers at 2:11 PM PST - 110 comments

Vulture Culture

International Vulture Awareness Day 2009 is Saturday, September 5th, but the '24 hours of vulture blogging' has already started (19:00 GMT, 11:00 MeFiTime). [more inside]
posted by wendell at 11:36 AM PST - 42 comments

Nothing could be finer than outing closeted homosexual Republicans in Carolina...

Senator Jake Knotts claims that embattled South Carolina governor Mark Sanford is the one spreading rumors that Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer is a closeted homosexual. Now blogactive journalist Mike Rogers (of Outrage fame) adds credibility to the rumors.
posted by hermitosis at 11:34 AM PST - 81 comments

The images of 9 0 0 0

The images of 9 0 0 0
posted by boo_radley at 11:16 AM PST - 54 comments

Death Risk Rankings

"Death Risk Rankings calculates your risk of dying in the next year and allows you to compare that risk to others in the world." Fun with mortality data and statistics from Carnegie Mellon University.
posted by OmieWise at 10:57 AM PST - 28 comments

Please Prepare For Landing

1,512 high-resolution images of Mars from the viewpoint of an airplane passenger. Previous photos: 1 2 3
posted by msalt at 10:33 AM PST - 14 comments

British Library's world music archive goes online for free

British Library's world music archive goes online for free. Amounts to around 28,000 recordings dating from 1898 onwards, according to The Guardian this equates with "about 2,000 hours of singing, speaking, yelling, chanting, blowing, banging, tinkling and many other verbs associated with what is a uniquely rich sound archive" The weirdest one? - possibly the recording of an Assamese woodworm munching its way through a window frame in the dead of night.......
posted by MajorDundee at 10:01 AM PST - 31 comments

Good Evening. I'm Butthead.

FILM FORUM with Beavis and Butthead - The boys reappear after twelve years to shill for Mike Judge's new film, Extract, opening today. Is there a future for Beavis and Butthead? Mike Judge speculates.
posted by not_on_display at 9:38 AM PST - 96 comments

Hear the Crashing Steel, Feel the Steering Wheel

Warm Leatherette as considered by several musical performance troupes. It all begins with The Normal [youtube] b/w TVOD [youtube]. See also Wikipedia. And then there's... Absolute Body Control [youtube] / Blizzfrizz Spielt [youtube] / Chicks on Speed [] / Grace Jones [youtube] / Duran Duran [youtube] / Dolce & Gabbana [youtube] / Gadgetto [mp3] / Grammal Seizure [link through] / Neon [youtube] / Nick Anthony [youtube] / Prayer Tower [youtube] / Sleepchamber [web] / Spafros [youtube] / Die Tödliche Doris [youtube] / Vitalic [yahoo music] / Zombie Zombie [youtube] / Trent Reznor, Jeordie White and Peter Murphy [youtube]. Previously on metafilter.
posted by eccnineten at 9:16 AM PST - 26 comments

One Way To Madagascar, Please...

Pandemic: American Swine! New flash game from the makers of Pandemic II Send in the military! Control the media! Play as an open-government do-gooder or a city nuking despot and try to control the infection.
posted by The Whelk at 8:37 AM PST - 22 comments

The high cost of riding around in brightly-colored underwear

Why is (Radio) Shack -- a company that only markets to North Americans -- spending $20 million sponsoring Lance Armstrong and his team as he spends a year racing bicycles mostly in Europe? "Somewhere, someone has a Venn diagram showing the crossover between electronics geeks and cyclists. I’m sure those two sets have a lot of crossover." [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 8:25 AM PST - 78 comments

The Little Mac Classic That Could

A Mac Classic shows bullies what's for in "3½ inches is enough" by Unreal Voodoo. This demo (actually written to run on a Mac Classic) was presented at ASSEMBLY, Finland's largest computer festival. More highlights from ASSEMBLY are available at GameSetWatch. The demos are mostly trippy and impressive hand-coded animations as one might expect, but there's also a live action short featuring a Rube Goldberg machine.
posted by ignignokt at 7:46 AM PST - 17 comments

PC World gone Mad

Things seem to be going from bad to worse in PR terms for the Dixon Stores Group. First, PC World was voted one of the worst high-street stores in Britain. Then, their staff Facebook group reveals a lot of somewhat interesting comments abotu their customers. [more inside]
posted by mippy at 7:33 AM PST - 37 comments

Damien Hirst and the the £500k pencils

A teenaged graffiti artist in London has been arrested after stealing a box of pencils which were part of a Damien Hirst sculpture. The purloined pencils have been valued at £500,000, making this potentially one of the highest value art thefts in modern Britain. [more inside]
posted by acb at 7:25 AM PST - 140 comments

Conceptual bikes

Putting heart and muscle into the term "bespoke," Josh Hadar creates hand-crafted metal sculptures that double as functional bikes. He describes his process in a recent interview with RocketBoom. Intrigued? A bicycle custom built to your whims could run from $12-$35k, or if you live in NYC, you can try your hand at welding and metal sculpting at his Burn Clinic. (via bioephemera)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:13 AM PST - 14 comments

AT&T redefines summer, releases iPhone feature finally

When it was released, the Apple iPhone 3GS advertised Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), but also noted "MMS support from AT&T coming in late summer." This has resulted in some legal issues such as a number of lawsuits. But now, AT&T has announced that MMS is coming to the iPhone on September 25, just a little past all defined ends of summer. [more inside]
posted by mephron at 7:11 AM PST - 43 comments

Homecoming Kings

It's every young musician's dream: Quit this town, make it big and come back to show these squares! Well, tonight (and tomorrow) Muse return home to Teignmouth in Devon, England (pop. 15,116) to play two home-town, homecoming gigs. [more inside]
posted by benzo8 at 7:08 AM PST - 8 comments

What is love?

Bliss and Heaven, No man is an Island II, The Sweetest Embrace of All, Something To Love (partial), A Vicious Undertow. These are works from Jesper Just, a Danish video artist. He merges a performance and video art approach with the aesthetic sensibilities of film. He explores subjects such as gender roles, sexual identity, and interpersonal relationships. The stories are usually ambiguous, unresolved, and quite haunting.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 6:36 AM PST - 4 comments

What we're gonna do right here is go back...

Join a young Jools Holland and Leslie Ash for a night out in NYC in the early 80's. Clubs visited include Danceteria, The Roxy (with Bambaata spinning) and Paradise Garage. Acts featured include Quando Quango, New Order and the Peech Boys. (SLYT)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:39 AM PST - 12 comments

September 3

"...for the scientific community, the most critical organ of the incentive system is the cycle of credit."

Just how credible is Wikipedia? While some have tested this empirically, others have chosen more dubious methodology. For a site that gives no credit to its post authors, one wonders, why even bother?
posted by iamkimiam at 11:11 PM PST - 94 comments

The police chief has disbanded his force "until things calm down"

JERICHO, Ark. — It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn't hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps. The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.
posted by finite at 10:41 PM PST - 140 comments

I Don't Recall

The Gonzales Cantata — A cantata based on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. "I Don't Recall."
posted by netbros at 9:20 PM PST - 19 comments

The Bay Bridge is now closed

The San Francisco Bay Bridge has been shut down for the weekend to allow workers to roll a section of the old bridge away, and roll in a temporary section, while they build the new permanent bridge. Download the video here showing how they'll do it. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer at 8:51 PM PST - 60 comments

An eyewitness to post-WWII Paris artists, and the women

Author James Lord, who knew everyone, has died. He wrote about sitting for Alberto Giacometti, before he wrote Giacommeti’s biography. He spent some time with Dora Maar, a photographer and muse who died in 1997, and wrote a book about her entitled “Dora and Picasso” (ISBN 0880641622). [Dora Maar previously on metafilter.] Lord helped set up the Cezanne atelier in Aix en Provence. He knew many people - Arletty, Balthus, Cocteau, Maugham, Marie-Laure de Noailles, Ned Rorem, Leger, Misia Sert - and wrote about all of them in his books, including "Six exceptional women" [ISBN 0374265534] and "Some remarkable men." [ISBN-10: 0374266557].
posted by goofyfoot at 8:13 PM PST - 2 comments

Korean Idol

The live performance shows for Superstar K (warning: audio autoplay) will start beginning this Friday, September 4, 11 pm, Seoul time. The South Korean version of shows such as American Idol and Britain's Got Talent, 713,503 hopefuls in 8 Korean cities were winnowed down to 10 contestants, all vying for the 100 million Won (approximately USD 80,400) prize and recording contract reserved for the winner. The show has been a massive hit for Korean cable music channel Mnet, garnering viewership above 6%, or 1 in 10 televisions on at the time, where 2% or higher is considered a hit on Korean cable TV. [more inside]
posted by needled at 8:05 PM PST - 4 comments

If Paul Krugman Was So Right

How Did Economists Get It So Wrong? - The Great Recession was the result not only of lax regulation in Washington and reckless risk-taking on Wall Street but also of faulty theorizing in academia. Can economists learn from their mistakes? (via mr & ev) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:00 PM PST - 50 comments

You can take my Pop-Tarts from my cold, dead hands

Junk Food in Real Life
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:53 PM PST - 38 comments

In praise of the sci-fi corridor

In praise of the sci-fi corridor -- a geeky look at that staple of sci-fi movie sets - the corridor.
posted by empath at 5:01 PM PST - 71 comments

Bike Parking

On bicycle parking.
posted by aniola at 4:58 PM PST - 75 comments

Glass Microbiology

Glass Microbiology "These transparent glass sculptures were created to contemplate the global impact of each disease and to consider how the doctoring of scientific imagery affects our visualization of phenomena."
posted by dhruva at 4:21 PM PST - 9 comments

Controversial WWF September 11 Advertisment Causes Outrage, Goes Viral

Brazil-based agency DDB BRASIL, contracted by the WWF to make an ad which would drive a "Respect the Planet" theme home, thought that making a 9/11 themed ad would be a good idea. After the video somehow makes it to the internet (some say it was leaked by the agency itself to win an award at Cannes), outrage predictably ensues. DDB Brasil insists the commercial was nothing but a rough draft and the WWF has not endorsed the ad made in their name, although evidence exists suggesting WWF Brazil endorsed a similar print ad a while back. Stupid, bad ad and a comedy of errors? Or the latest viral ad strategy?
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:20 PM PST - 53 comments

The Present and Future of Mobile Phones

Jan Chipchase is employeed by Nokia in the "corporate anthropology" field, but he considers it "design research," as he's not an anthropologist by training. His work covers researching how people modify their phones in China, India, Ghana, and elsewhere, adding features or extending battery life. He also tracks how cellphones are associated with personal identity and how they are playing roles far from urban and suburban centers. In some locations, cell phone numbers are written above doorways for identification, when there is no official map or organization for streets. He also blogs about his experiences, and his most recent post, he covers the rise of "Super Fakes." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:35 PM PST - 16 comments

Lunar Jamming

Moon Music: moonbell generates sounds based on lunar topography. (via) [more inside]
posted by Korou at 1:28 PM PST - 13 comments

Max at Sea.

The New Yorker has published "Max at Sea", an excerpt from Dave Egger's novelization of his screenplay for Where the Wild Things Are. The book ships on the October first in hardback and creepy hardback. (via Jesse Thorn's Maximum Fun) [more inside]
posted by shadytrees at 1:24 PM PST - 66 comments

14 iPhones, 23 MacBook Pro laptops and 9 iPod touch devices.

31 seconds to steal 14 iPhones, 23 MacBook Pro laptops and 9 iPod touch devices. SLYT
posted by R. Mutt at 12:39 PM PST - 100 comments

Afro-centric public school opening in Toronto

Despite a reputation as an effective multi-cultural city, Toronto continues to have difficulties successfully integrating its communities of African heritage. In response to significantly higher than average high school drop-out rates in those communities, some academics suggested the creation of "black-focused public schools" [PDF] as means of re-engaging black youth with education. Needless to say, this caused debate, controversy, and even anger, but the first afro-centric public elementary school will open this month.
posted by modernnomad at 11:10 AM PST - 43 comments

Marching through the claims like Sherman through Georgia

Neuroscientist Lise Eliot finds that claims of sex differences fall apart. In one study, scientists dressed newborns in gender-neutral clothes and misled adults about their sex. The adults described the "boys" (actually girls) as angry or distressed more often than did adults who thought they were observing girls, and described the "girls" (actually boys) as happy and socially engaged more than adults who knew the babies were boys. Dozens of such disguised-gender experiments have shown that adults perceive baby boys and girls differently, seeing identical behavior through a gender-tinted lens. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 10:30 AM PST - 106 comments

Bacon Day is a day of Bacon

International Bacon Day!
"Bacon Day is held on the Saturday before Labor Day US ... This year that is the 5th of September. Last year Bacon Day was celebrated in the US, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Switzerland, and the UK ... Bacon Day is a day of Bacon ... think Iron Chef but all day and the secret ingredient is Bacon."
via Bacon Today [previously], your go-to guide for all things bacon and bacon-related , up to but not including the artery-unclogging services you will need afterward.) [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 9:30 AM PST - 41 comments

Web browser history detection

What the Internet knows about you. "This project was started by a small group of Web developers and security researchers in order to highlight the problem of Web browser history detection -- a problem which can dramatically affect the Web and hurt many people, if not solved quickly. Our direct goal is to educate the mainstream public and show them the direct consequences of allowing this aspect of Web browser behavior, as well as provide some solutions which mitigate the problem. However, since there are no existing satisfactory solutions, our other objective is to point the attention of browser developers to this issue and strongly encourage them to implement the necessary and long-overdue fixes." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 9:06 AM PST - 44 comments

Design On Demand

Douglas Coupland wants you to design your own cover for his new book, Generation A.
posted by The Whelk at 8:28 AM PST - 41 comments

Hi, I’m a person too.

The Deal with Disability "Hey, I’m Eva. I’m 26 and a recent college graduate. I like to write, to take digital photographs, and just chill. But this blog is not about what I like. This blog is about how people treat me. You see, I am physically disabled. Actually “severely” physically disabled. I have Cerebral Palsy, which for me means I can’t walk, speak, or use muscles in traditional ways. I use a power wheelchair to get around and spell out what I want to say on a letterboard. This blog will be videos of people treating me bizarrely." [more inside]
posted by heatherann at 8:17 AM PST - 105 comments

Full of LGBT, not RBHT!

First, there was the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck. Now, everyone's favorite super-premium conglomerate-owned sticking-to-its-righteous-roots ice cream company has transformed "Chubby Hubby" into Hubby Hubby (only in VT, only for September), in support of same sex marriage, which is legal in Vermont as of this month. No word yet whether Iowa-based Winnebago will follow suit with a specially-named RV.
posted by ericbop at 7:52 AM PST - 46 comments

Bike vs. Cars War

In light of the recent tragic death of a cyclist in Toronto, even normally well-balanced MeFites have polarized in the bikes vs. cars war”. But according to Guillermo Penalosa, the fight is really about better urban design. He helped to radically reinvent the transit and parks infrastructure of Bogata, making it of the best cycling cities in the world. The recent changes to Broadway in New York were influenced by Bogota's success. Gil now advises the Project for Public Spaces and is Executive Director of Walk & Bike for Life. Their solution to the pedestrians vs. cars vs. bikes battle is simple: better urban planning (previously on MeFi) that gives everyone their own safe space. Not sure if your city's infrastructure is up-to-snuff? Apply the 8/80 rule. In the meantime, keep safe out there.
posted by nometa at 6:39 AM PST - 173 comments

Scientific publishing should be beyond repute.

How to Publish a Scientific Comment in 1 2 3 Easy Steps or not. Prof. Rick Trebino of the Georgia Institute of Physics vents about the Kafka-esque editorial guidelines of an unnamed academic journal's comments feature.
posted by munchbunch at 3:14 AM PST - 63 comments

The New Liberal Arts

The New Liberal Arts book is out. 47 pages of free pdf about things the various authors think will help prepare you for modern life. Earlier discussion about the planning phase of the book.
posted by srboisvert at 2:27 AM PST - 37 comments

September 2

Messy, Painful, Bloody and Dirty

Critics of modern farming practice have swayed popular opinion in recent years. Now farmers are talking back. Farmer Blake Harris takes critics of farming to task for misrepresenting his trade. Another farmer says it's not so simple.
posted by chrchr at 11:32 PM PST - 41 comments

More false stories in the news

Roxanne Shanté, considered by some to be a queen of hip hop, got Warner Music to pay for her PhD in psychology. Except, a Slate investigation says it never happened. [more inside]
posted by movicont at 11:26 PM PST - 72 comments

More crime fiction than you can shake a dagger at

Euro Crime offers a staggering amount of reviews, publishing news and other information on crime fiction written by european authors.
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:57 PM PST - 5 comments


What has two legs, two wheels, and two flame throwers? That would be LRRY.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:56 PM PST - 19 comments

Deus Ex Barba

Beardyman's Northern Tour: 1) 101 2) Scotch Dedication 3) Everything is made of Cheese! 4) Dubstep Meatloaf 5) Don't Worry
(note: loud music and loads of expletives)
posted by flatluigi at 10:08 PM PST - 10 comments

Petabytes on a budget

Petabytes on a budget: How to build cheap cloud storage disclaimer: I use Backblaze myself, but I thought this article was cool enough to share without being fanboyish
posted by device55 at 9:39 PM PST - 70 comments

Float like a leprechaun, sting like a bee

In the 1860's, Abe Grady emigrated to Kentucky from Ennis, Ireland, and married a freed slave. Yesterday, one of their great-grandchildren paid a visit to Ennis. Muhammad Ali met his cousins, and was named an honorary freeman of Ennis. [more inside]
posted by Zed at 9:34 PM PST - 10 comments

Anatomy of the Blazers' offense

Basketball-filter: The Portland Trailblazers' offense broken down and explained with custom videos. [via]
posted by AceRock at 8:19 PM PST - 24 comments

A Day Without Ceiling Cat Watching, Without Keyboard Cat Playing You Off

A Day Without Cats on the Internet Because why should all the fun on 09/09/09 be for Beatles fans, Apple geeks, 99-cent-store customers and post-apocalyptic steampunk ragdolls. Oh, and also President Obama. Is there anybody NOT doing something special on 09/09/09? Maybe... Satan? (long boring talk by nutcase about Large Hadron Collider and Nostrdamus) [more inside]
posted by wendell at 6:54 PM PST - 38 comments

"In my next conscious moment, I was dimly aware that I was facedown on the pavement. There was blood in my mouth."

"A Mugging on Lake Street" : John Conroy -- author and former staff writer of the Chicago Reader best known for his articles on police torture finds himself a victim of a "senseless" crime and is forced by circumstance to examine his own opinions about race, hate crimes, and violence. (last link is referenced in original article)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:48 PM PST - 115 comments

Latin American Science

History of Science in Latin America and the Caribbean [flash required] – the history of science from a Latin American perspective.
posted by tellurian at 5:02 PM PST - 6 comments

By day a mild mannered pencil-monkey...

Zap! Pow! Comicbook artist Chris Weston fights crime!
posted by Artw at 4:04 PM PST - 20 comments

"Oh. Weird. That poor bird"

"I went out, and there was a big egg." (SLYT)
posted by Dipsomaniac at 1:46 PM PST - 87 comments

In Mem'ry of that Caravan

Duke Ellington recalled "... that's one of those things Tizol came up with. See, it wasn't in tempo, he stood [and played it] sort of ad lib. He played it, [the] first ten bars, we took it and worked out the rest of it." That thing was Caravan, and the instigator was Juan Tizol, who was a trombonist in Duke Ellington's orchestra. The track, originally recorded in 1936, became a jazz standard. The lyrics were penned in 1936 by publisher and manager Irving Mills, adding to the exotic feeling and romance of what is considered by many to be the first Latin jazz piece, before the late swing era and first decade of bebop when Latin Jazz (also called Afro-Cuban Jazz) came into prominence. The track didn't cross into other genres until Les Paul created his version of the track in 1948, which lead to other covers, and eventually a successful cover by The Ventures (source). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:11 PM PST - 28 comments

The last one is a little sad.

Tree Portaits. Plants with personality.
posted by dame at 11:41 AM PST - 13 comments

all caps email results in firing

email etiquette: ALL CAPS CAN GET YOU FIRED. [more inside]
posted by tamarack at 11:01 AM PST - 117 comments

69 Must-See SciFi Sights in the U.S.

SciFi Wire lists 68 science fiction sights that can be found in the U.S. The sights include the "Ghostbusters headquarters," Captain Kirk's future birthplace, and Mothman museum.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 10:51 AM PST - 49 comments

Where's that wheelchair?

Lou Barlow has a new solo record, and is promoting it by releasing some videos and a making-of documentary every week this month on Lootube. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:32 AM PST - 17 comments

Limit Your Exposure : In depth annalysis of Mad Men

AMC's Mad Men is the best show on telivision that no one is watching (now that The Wire has ended), it's the most adult, most stylish, best written show on television at the moment. And we say "adult" in the sense that it's subtle and complex, not in the "there's a lot of sex" sense (although there's plenty of sex).. Here is some outstanding in-depth analysis of the first episodes of season 3 (spoilers aplenty).
posted by Mick at 10:13 AM PST - 144 comments

A Joker Mashup

"Why so serious?" Synthesizing Mark Hamill's menacing hilarity and Heath Ledger's intelligent and dangerously unhinged aspects in their portrayals of DC Comic's "The Joker," aspiring voice actor "pgirts" recreates the famous scene from the recent Batman film in a chilling mashup of acting styles, and similarly brings the Joker's monolog from "The Killing Joke" to life. (MLYT)
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:10 AM PST - 37 comments

I'm just a boy with a new haircut (and that's a pretty nice haircut)

With today's economy, DIY haircuts are gaining in popularity. Flowbees and electric clipper sales are up. Did you see the drummer's hair?*
posted by porn in the woods at 10:03 AM PST - 74 comments

Urinal Protocol Vulnerability

When a guy goes into the bathroom, which urinal does he pick?
posted by Premeditated Symmetry Breaking at 9:31 AM PST - 162 comments

Vox Populi Vox Dei (a werewolf thriller)

Vox Populi, Vox Dei (a werewolf thriller) is a short stealth-platformer from Weremsoft.
posted by Rinku at 8:39 AM PST - 17 comments

From Switzerland With No Love

Swiss private bank Wegelin says goodbye and good riddance to America. Swiss private bank Wegelin announced two weeks ago that it is to stop doing business in the United States. The St Gallen-based bank, Switzerland's oldest, said the decision had been taken in response to stricter measures introduced in the US against tax dodgers and planned changes to estate tax, which would make some non-US citizens liable to tax if they inherited US securities. In a letter to investors it said Swiss banks were likely to find themselves in an untenable position, as they would be expected to know which clients were liable to pay US tax – "an impossible undertaking", given the lack of clear definitions in the matter.
posted by DreamerFi at 8:38 AM PST - 86 comments

Play That Monkey Music

Monkeys react to music composed specifically for them, using monkey calls. Cellist David Teie, working with psychologist Charles Snowdon, has created music based on monkey calls that successfully affects the emotional state of tamarinds. Turns out that they don't like human music, except possibly Metallica. What can you do with this information? Well, you could buy - or, hey, create - music for your cat.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:22 AM PST - 31 comments

"Art too bad to be ignored"

From Sunday on the Pot with George to In the Cat's Mouth* to Think Again, The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA) is "the world's only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms." Some images NSFW [more inside]
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:54 AM PST - 44 comments

Its a long way away.

Lying 2,816 kilometres from the nearest continent; with approx 246 inhabitants; and having no TV until 2001; Tristan da Cunha is the most remote archipelago on the planet. There is an official web page. In 1961 the Island was evacuated because of volcanic activity but re inhabited in 1963. Early History; 20th Century History. Here are some pictures from the 1930's; from the 1960's and 70's and more present day. The Island people have developed their own vocabulary.
( wiki and Related).
posted by adamvasco at 7:52 AM PST - 38 comments

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment (Henry David Thoreau)

After hearing our show about moments of death, filmmaker Will Hoffman went out in search of moments of life. What follows is what he found. What is a moment? From the RadioLab Blog at WNYC, [via]
posted by localhuman at 7:01 AM PST - 21 comments

take a vacation whenever you want

Netflix's awesome vacation policy -- famous for crowdsourcing, Netflix is now making waves with its employee handbook. (via fs)
posted by kliuless at 5:55 AM PST - 82 comments

Rockin', beats.

Free Beats. Classic Beats. Lost Beats.
posted by cashman at 5:46 AM PST - 17 comments

September 1

Prepare to die! No seriously, prepare to die over and over and over again ...

After over eight months of beta releases, Spelunky version 1.0 has finally been released. If you missed it previously, Spelunky is a exploration platform game with random levels, so it plays different each time. Its random layout, interesting interactions with items, destroyable scenery, and robbable shops have earned it comparison with Nethack, the classic roguelike game. Currently Windows only, but announced for XBox Live Arcade.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 10:28 PM PST - 15 comments

Japan's Media Environment

Japan -- Media Environment Open; State Looms Large (August 2009, PDF) [more inside]
posted by armage at 10:21 PM PST - 8 comments


Dunny - an eleven-year-old boy tries to give a love letter to a girl that doesn't like him and winds up at dinner with her suburban family. This is one of those short films that you either love right away from the opening scene or....well, demand you 10 minutes back. If you are not sure, try other works by the same director: Phillip Van.
posted by Surfin' Bird at 9:30 PM PST - 24 comments

It doesn't matter who's wrong or right. Just beat it.

Beatin' it in Seattle
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:23 PM PST - 36 comments

World appears slightly less bad due to supply and demand

The government of Delhi is claiming success in reducing female infanticide by a recent scheme to pay the school fees of poor girls. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot at 8:56 PM PST - 19 comments

Gestalt: Director's Cut

The sublime fractal-based short film Gestalt (previously) has been re-rendered in high definition. Go forth and iterate.

Also, don't miss Fleischfilm's newer, and similarly unnerving Energie! - also in HD. In case you lose patience, it really starts to blow up around the minute mark. [more inside]
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 7:41 PM PST - 24 comments

What Can Your Womb Do For You?

What bleeds [Flash], grows babies [possibly NSFW], and "functions so efficiently that a full understanding of its processes may lead to novel treatments for a plethora of medical disorders?" The Uterus! Jacqueline Maybin, a PhD student at the Centre For Reproductive Biology at Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, discusses her research into "the secrets of the womb" and its incredible ability to heal and repair in her essay, "The Best A Man Can't Get."
posted by radiomayonnaise at 6:28 PM PST - 26 comments

The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan is guarded by gross perverts.

The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan is guarded by gross perverts. (Photos!)
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:00 PM PST - 101 comments

Bollywood Gastronomy

Kuchh Kook Hota Hai is an all singing, dancing (and possibly epileptic fit inducing) Indian cookery show (without much cooking), featuring two sassy assistants 'salt' and 'pepper'. To whet your appetite – Mutton Burger and Carrot Roll.
posted by tellurian at 3:38 PM PST - 25 comments

Der ewige Jude

The day after Kristallnacht, Hitler said: "It was necessary not to make propaganda for violence as such, but to explain certain matters of foreign policy to the German people in such a way, that the inner voice of the people all by itself gradually would call for violence." Towards that end, Goebbels commissioned and closely supervised the production of a propaganda documentary titled Der ewige Jude - "The Eternal Jew". Few if any of the inhabitants of the Łódź Ghetto who appear in its footage survived the war. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 3:33 PM PST - 11 comments

Island on the edge of the world

The evacuation of the abandoned island of St. Kilda has been commemorated after 79 years. [more inside]
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 2:37 PM PST - 16 comments

Asserting Your Social Status With Your Facebook Status

There are five key rules to using your status update to maximum status-signifying effect. Learn from the masters: "(to the dude on the A train who said he was NYLON's digital director, attempting to impress some girl 1. Nice try but that's my job 2. And I'm flattered but that's some wishful thinking, babe, because it's an amazing job but it's sadly never gotten me laid!)" By placing her bragging in the lying mouth of a subway stranger, this updater covertly asserts the prestige of her position and at the same time insulates herself against similar claims. Particularly masterful is the covert assumption here that her position is one sufficiently grand to be the ethereal stuff of A train boasting.
posted by geoff. at 2:37 PM PST - 41 comments

You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.

SLYTFilter: MC Frontalot - "It is Pitch Dark"
You are likely to be eaten by a grue. / If this predicament seems particularly cruel, / Consider whose fault it could be, / Not a torch or a match in your inventory.
Directed by MeFi's Own™ Jason Scott for his documentary about text adventures, GET LAMP. [previously] Featuring MC Frontalot [previously] and Steve Meretzky. More grues on MeFi.
posted by not_on_display at 2:02 PM PST - 30 comments

One button parkour

You ran 245m before hitting a wall and tumbling to your death. Canabalt is a one button, randomly generated parkour game. (via) [more inside]
posted by America at 1:57 PM PST - 61 comments

"The Categorical Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts and Industries"

The University of Michigan's collaborative translation of Diderot and d'Alembert's Encylopédie has completed some 650 selections from the Enlightenment keystone, including articles on California, vanilla, werewolves, the English language, beauty, and the complete structure of human knowledge. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 1:13 PM PST - 7 comments

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

"Then there are the classification errors, which taken together can make for a kind of absurdist poetry. H.L. Mencken's The American Language is classified as Family & Relationships. A French edition of Hamlet and a Japanese edition of Madame Bovary are both classified as Antiques and Collectibles (a 1930 English edition of Flaubert's novel is classified under Physicians, which I suppose makes a bit more sense.) An edition of Moby Dick is labeled Computers; The Cat Lover's Book of Fascinating Facts falls under Technology & Engineering. And a catalog of copyright entries from the Library of Congress is listed under Drama (for a moment I wondered if maybe that one was just Google's little joke)." —Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg on Google's little metadata problem.
posted by Toekneesan at 1:08 PM PST - 29 comments

Living Small

With the economic downturn and a steady downward trend in family sizes, the end of the McMansion could be at hand. Some people are living in and building tiny houses (previously) to decrease their impact on the environment, while others can't afford more (or wish to own something small instead of paying off something big). Sergio Santos saw his small budget and limited space as a challenge (gallery), maximizing his 77 square foot space as a bedroom, office, and mini-kitchen. Claire Wolf lists the four pieces of living small: building, gadgeting, decorating, and coping. If these spaces are too small for you, Dan Maginn suggest 900 square feet for a 2 bed, 2 bath house, and outlines how to design your own small home (his tips: think "events" more than "rooms," and don't forget the cupboards and water heater closet).
posted by filthy light thief at 1:03 PM PST - 92 comments

Watch the skies!

Who Goes There - the John W. Campbell short story which inspired the movies The Thing from Another World and, closer to the original, The Thing (which, apparently, was horribly critically mauled upon release but has since become as much as a classic as the 50s film). The story is now being reprinted alongside a treatment by Logan's Run author William F. Nolan for an unmade 1978 screen version.
posted by Artw at 1:02 PM PST - 18 comments

Prop 8 : CA :: Ref 71 : WA

On May 18, 2009, the Governor of Washington state signed into law SB 5688, granting near-equal legal standing to state registered domestic partners, meaning mainly (but not exclusively) same-sex couples. This new law, nicknamed the "everything but marriage" law was to go into effect at the end of July. Due to efforts made by some conservative groups, the measure will now be up for a public vote on the November 3, 2009 ballot in the form of Referendum 71. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:35 AM PST - 174 comments

One Way Ticket

In the next few weeks, NASA will present President Obama with options for the near-term future of human spaceflight. A manned flight to Mars is one possibility. But if we do send astronauts to Mars, do we really need to bring them home again?
posted by william_boot at 11:22 AM PST - 138 comments

Loosening up locked-down corporate IT

Over on Slate, Farhad Manjoo writes that corporate IT ought to allow users more freedom in web browser selection and installation rights on their work computers. John C. Welch responds.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:40 AM PST - 166 comments

Snow Leopards

Out of the Shadows: The elusive Central Asian snow leopard steps into a risk-filled future. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 9:17 AM PST - 27 comments

Where'd I put that nuclear recipe again?

Did America Forget How to Make the H-Bomb? Nobody in the general public knows exactly what it is, though there are guesses, but it seems the bombmakers themselves forgot how to make a crucial ingredient in US thermonuclear weapons, FOGBANK.
posted by kmz at 8:41 AM PST - 56 comments

Former Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant involved in death of Toronto cyclist

Late last night, a cyclist was killed in Toronto. "Ontario's former attorney general Michael Bryant ... will be charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death, a police source tells the Globe, after a collision left a 33-year-old cyclist dead." Accounts vary, but the sequence appears to be 1) Some collision and argument between the cyclist and the driver; 2) The cyclist grabs the driver's door and hangs on (or he may have been caught on the car accidentally) while the Saab convertible drives on; 3) The car drives into the opposite lane, across a construction zone, and the cyclist is battered against mailboxes and light posts; 4) The cyclist falls under the car's back wheels and is killed. [more inside]
posted by maudlin at 7:54 AM PST - 573 comments

We are all Madoffs

David P. Barash argues that our addiction to economic growth is a Madoff/Ponzi scheme.
posted by mareli at 7:12 AM PST - 75 comments

Murdoch v. the BBC

"If you think you can get fucking angry, I can get fucking angry." [more inside]
posted by Jakey at 7:00 AM PST - 43 comments

Borderline Human Experimentation

PHR (Physicians for Human Rights) have released a new report (pdf) that details the extent to which doctors were involved in monitoring and recording data on detainees subjected to waterboarding and other techniques [via] [more inside]
posted by scrutiny at 5:06 AM PST - 22 comments

Good enough or just cheap crap?

Robert Capps, Wired senior editor, has an article up called The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine. It explores what happens when an established product meets a competitor that has most of the features at fraction of the price. Think hi-fi vs MP3s, A-10 bombers vs Predator drones or landline vs Skype. [more inside]
posted by Harald74 at 2:01 AM PST - 74 comments