September 2021 Archives

September 30

Welcome to Britain

In 1943, film star Burgess Meredith hosts a U.S. Army training film instructing soldiers departing for service what to expect when they arrive in Britain, exploring the generosity of British people suffering under war time privation, the local pub, differences in attitudes about race, and other topics of import for visiting soldiers. [more inside]
posted by chrchr at 10:58 PM PST - 23 comments

We got a new garage door. It came with an epic story

Jana takes her measurements, then asks when our home was built. “Nineteen fifty-six. Is that an issue?” “Nope.”
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 6:41 PM PST - 42 comments

Canada marks first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Today marks Canada's first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (formerly known as Orange Shirt Day, previously), a day for Canadians to acknowledge the trauma and suffering of Indigneous people because of the genocidal atrocities of Canada's residential school system. From the 1880s to the 1990s, approximately 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their families, forced into church-run "schools," stripped of their culture and language, and severely abused and neglected. Cindy Blackstock, director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society: "Approach it as you would Remembrance Day...Keep in mind that children were more likely to die in residential schools than a soldier was in the Second World War." Tonight, across the country at 8 pm local time, there will be a national broadcast on APTN and CBC Radio, TV, and Gem honouring the day. A national crisis line for Residential Institution Survivors is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1-866-925-4419. [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:17 PM PST - 25 comments

a faraway land to project one’s romanticized hopes

Taiwanese journalist and insomniac Brian Hioe examines the recent 'China and the Left' conference with long critique titled "Manichaeism with Chinese Characteristics." Originally a 500+ live tweet marathon, Hioe details the many questionable assertions, such as China cannot be a colonial power toward Uyghurs and Tibetans because it's a manufacturing power, or that since the largest four banks in the world by total assets are Chinese government-owned, they are owned by the people and thus not a sign of the financialization of China. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:38 PM PST - 31 comments

If your favorite episode couldn't crack the top 25, well, poor you.

The Ringer’s Definitive 'Sopranos' Episode Ranking
Ahead of the release of The Many Saints of Newark in theaters and on HBO Max on October 1, The Ringer’s Justin Sayles has revisited the world of The Sopranos by ranking all 86 episodes from the show’s six seasons, while handing out awards for MVPs and best quotes and tracking who left North Jersey for that big nothing in the sky.
[more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 12:02 PM PST - 18 comments

'twas Brillig

Beware the Jabberwock, my son The Jabberwocky Variations include parodies and translations of the famous poem. This is a particular challenge for translation as many of the words are invented for the poem, based on how they sound.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 6:00 AM PST - 25 comments

Building a roll-top dining room table/jigsaw table

A woman who will stop at nothing to slightly improve her jigsaw puzzle experience Building the table. A 3D printed tiny bathtub for her sore thumbs. First use of new lathe. Everything is at the right height because the jigsaw puzzle level can be moved up when the dining table isn't being used. A cute dog. [more inside]
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 5:24 AM PST - 34 comments

Welcome to your mid-life crisis?

Midlife Crisis: What Happens To Your Brain!. Mitch and Greg of AsapSCIENCE in their Sidenote Podcast goes into midlife crisis mode...
This week we will be discussing the ever dreaded MIDLIFE CRISIS. What science has to say about your brain in a midlife crisis, what your brain looks like in a midlife crisis and the fact that humans are not the only species to experience this!!
posted by zengargoyle at 3:47 AM PST - 31 comments

f/8 and be there.

"Rare Photos That Reveal The Unseen Side Of Things." Part one. Part two.
posted by Marky at 3:21 AM PST - 28 comments


From signaling to organizing, memes as mobilizers in the age of viral media. A special report by Taraneh Azar.
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 1:34 AM PST - 12 comments

September 29

"I have never been a manga artist. What I produce is drama."

The editorial department of manga anthology Big Comic announced the passing of Takao Saito, creator of the long running series Golgo 13, from pancreatic cancer at the age of 84. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:16 PM PST - 6 comments

Strong as titanium, composed of lactic acid molecules strung together.

Bio-absorbable screws are an alternative to metal, used by doctors to connect bones and joints. These screws work well for many types of bone repairs, eliminates a second surgery to remove the metal screws and plates. Though constructed of many lactic acid molecules strung together, they are sometimes called "sugar screws" to give patients an understanding of how they melt over time, as sugar cubes dissolve in tea.
posted by dancestoblue at 3:50 PM PST - 19 comments

"This is perfect"

The Joy of Parallel Play... for adults "When I think back on some of the happiest moments of my life, there’s often an element of parallel play involved. Being on the lawn with my friends at summer camp, our Crazy Creek chairs in a circle, listening to Jack Johnson on my Walkman. Sitting on the beach in Nantucket with my parents, each of us focused on a different novel. Making bracelets in Manhattan’s Riverside Park with two friends over the Fourth of July weekend, deeply concentrated on the beads. In each memory I feel secure and calm, happy to be in my own world with others nearby. Parallel play isn’t just something toddlers do, it’s what I turn to when I need a gentler way to be with those I love. It’s the comfort I seek when I text a friend asking her to spend the afternoon reading next to me in Central Park."
posted by storybored at 12:29 PM PST - 28 comments

Contact Tracing On Old Town Road

How scientists say a hit song is like an infectious disease "The most important finding of the study is that we have shown that it makes sense to use a mathematical model of disease spread to study song popularity and that opens the door for all kinds of things that we might be able to learn about song popularity,"
posted by gusottertrout at 12:03 PM PST - 27 comments

neighbours swore to the donkey’s ‘virtuous’ character

Amia Srinivasan's review of Loving Animals: On Bestiality, Zoophilia and Post-Human Love for the London Review of Books is thought-provoking. [Includes the obvious NSFW content, as well as brief descriptions of violence and cruelty to both humans and animals, child abuse, and quoted, ugly comparisons to human sexual orientation.] [more inside]
posted by eotvos at 11:50 AM PST - 23 comments

How Do We Prepare Boys for Healthy Relationships?

"If we care about preparing our boys for healthy relationships, this may be one way to do it—making time and space in school, where so much of their social world exists, to teach them how to name and handle their emotions and solve problems that crop up among friends. Creating a classroom culture where students are expected to think about how other people feel and notice what they need, and to be as earnest about kindness and empathy as they are about academics. Helping them see that while it takes practice to learn how to navigate our inner lives and our social lives, it is something we all can—and should—learn to do." -- an excerpt from "To Raise A Boy" by Emma Brown (the Washington Post reporter who broke the Christine Blasey Ford/Brett Kavanaugh sexual assault story). [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 11:34 AM PST - 34 comments

This shit's gonna kill me but I wont let it.

Lawrence, a New York-based band founded by siblings Clyde and Gracie Lawrence, with an acoustic version of their song Don't Lose Sight. [SLYT]
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:30 AM PST - 5 comments

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman who reported on the Chicago Police Black Site in Holman Square in 2015 (Previously) has a new book out: Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump. He went on Seth Myers to talk about Obama era missteps and also to talk about writing with Evan Narcisse a new Suicide Squad comic focusing on Amanda Waller.
posted by josher71 at 9:22 AM PST - 5 comments

The International Miniature Dry Stone Wall competition results are in!

Miniature Walling Festival Brought to you by the Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:12 AM PST - 26 comments

Dear English Language

You need to pick a frickin' lane with the sounds you're making (SLYT)
posted by curious nu at 7:32 AM PST - 45 comments

Bear Down, Arlington Bears

The Chicago Bears announced their purchase of the former Arlington International Racecourse with the intention of building a new stadium in the city's northwest suburbs. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:23 AM PST - 72 comments

Stay with me here, ok?

"Every year or two I remember what’s probably the most scarily/stunningly impressive linguistic feat I’ve ever seen. Every time, I think I must be mistaken, then I read the thing, and I just shake my head in disbelief. It’s been twenty years. Let me tell you about it." Author Matt Gemmell takes us into the wild genius inside a Super Metroid Strategy Guide.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:25 AM PST - 45 comments

Tax Loopholes and Revolving Doors (Occupy K Street)

How Accounting Giants Craft Favorable Tax Rules From Inside Government [ungated] - "Lawyers from top accounting firms do brief stints in the Treasury Department, with the expectation of big raises when they return." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 3:33 AM PST - 6 comments

September 28

It’s the great god bird with its altar call

Matthew Brown at the Associated Press reports that the US Fish & Wildlife Service will declare on Wednesday that the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker (and 22 other species on the endangered species list) have gone extinct.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:53 PM PST - 24 comments

How To Not Suck At Writing

In a follow-up to his previous piece on writing, Defector columnist Drew Magary discusses his techniques for improving at being a wordsmith. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 6:33 PM PST - 55 comments

A museum gave an artist $84,000 in cash. He delivered blank canvases.

The artist, Jens Haaning, says the artwork is titled "Take the Money and Run."
posted by folklore724 at 2:24 PM PST - 48 comments

chunky cubby chasers

Welcome everyone, to Fat Bear Week 2021! [more inside]
posted by fight or flight at 2:17 PM PST - 39 comments

Five Tropes Local TV News Uses to Dehumanize Homeless People

"Rightwing demagogues like Tucker Carlson incite against the homeless on a nightly basis, but mainline outlets also help stigmatize the unhoused, only with more subtlety." Political writer Adam Johnson shines a light on 5 tropes commonly used to dehumanize the unhoused in mainstream news (with receipts).
posted by splitpeasoup at 2:17 PM PST - 23 comments

…interwoven appreciation of the neural function with literary commentary

What Is Literature For? - A Symposium on Angus Fletcher’s “Wonderworks” (LARB): Three reviews of Wonderworks (two glowing, one scathing) and a reply by the author. Erik J. Larson: "All of this tech-talk injected into literature would seem superficial, perhaps, except that Fletcher makes an entirely convincing case that literature really does function like this, and that the form of the narrative is a key to understanding its impact on us and why we find these creations so important. While the neuroscientific accounts of what’s happening in our brains when we find love or let go of old sorrow might be debatable, the overall achievement of Wonderworks strikes me as immensely important. It’s rare in academic literary circles to find mainstream criticism of literature that reaches outside of theory and into the hearts and minds of real readers. Fletcher no doubt does this. The result is a fantastic tour through the world’s literature, an explanation of how it works as a technology, and a scientific discussion that opens the lid on our complex brains, tying it all to our most ancient and cherished activity: reading stories." [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 11:27 AM PST - 30 comments

COVID19 and the American empire

The for-profit, Core-Civic-owned Stewart Detention Center (SDC) recently saw their Covid19 case counts surpass the 1000 mark. Nationally, there have been over 6000 confirmed cases of COVID19 in ICE detention facilities [more inside]
posted by paimapi at 9:22 AM PST - 7 comments

Clean air is now the ultimate luxury

The history of Molekule and the business of selling clean air / Molekule: The Worst Air Purifier We've Ever Tested [more inside]
posted by meowzilla at 8:24 AM PST - 38 comments

When Dasani left home

Many of you may remember the story of Dasani, the homeless girl in rapidly gentrifying Fort Greene whose experiences were chronicled in a NYT article several years ago. This article follows up on her experiences since, as she attends a boarding school for lower-income students.
posted by praemunire at 8:20 AM PST - 14 comments

Do Americans Know What a Massive Ripoff American Life Really Is?

What it Means When I Say America is the World’s First Poor Rich Country
posted by clawsoon at 7:50 AM PST - 65 comments

September 27

Stop the (for real) steal

@ThePlumLineGS: Reforming the Electoral Count Act as a key safeguard against a future stolen election [ungated] - "Democrats should push for ECA reform, and I expect they will. But nothing will pass as long as the filibuster remains." (via; previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:55 PM PST - 43 comments

What if it's all bullshit?

What if it's all bullshit? An academic philosopher ponders discrimination, failed COVID policies, and bullshit [more inside]
posted by hydropsyche at 2:38 PM PST - 63 comments

"Previous management used to pay people to write or create things."

True Genius: How to go from “the future of journalism” to a fire sale in a few short years (SLNiemanLab) [more inside]
posted by box at 2:37 PM PST - 25 comments

Hi, my name is Phil and I like talking about politics

Brexit Crisis Worsened By Rampant Capitalism [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:13 PM PST - 48 comments

leather, gray suits, motorcycles, folding chairs, and queer history

Aphyr, a gay leatherman, writes a history of "the relationship between queer leather and the larger LGBTQ community" covering the first few decades of Pride celebrations. "I want to give fellow LGBTQ people—both kinky and vanilla—an understanding of the interplay of queer and leather communities, a grasp of how normative and radical forces interpreted and shaped the expression of Pride, and an appreciation for the people who worked to achieve the culture we have today. I hope that this history gives readers a framework for thinking about leather and Pride in a more nuanced way." Long enough that it's also available as an 89-page PDF or ePub. [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 11:54 AM PST - 20 comments

"Have Pity on Us, Let us Land"

The Skyluck Journals. "In 1979, the Skyluck carried 2,700 refugees fleeing Vietnam into the Hong Kong harbour, where they were forced to remain on board for more than four months. Andrew Nguyen and his family were among them. Forty years later, his mother's journals reveal their story." "'By the late ‘70s, people were fleeing the country altogether because of lack of food and jobs. My parents were labelled co-conspirators of the previous government. But even talking about escaping could mean imprisonment. Quietly, my parents started discussing how they would leave. My mom was worried we would die at sea. My dad looked at her, and replied with a firm sincerity, “We will go together. If we die, we die together.'”" [more inside]
posted by storybored at 9:50 AM PST - 4 comments

we’re not actually above anyone. we’re not smarter than this.

“Being a fat lady and trying to do all the things that fat ladies are supposed to do took me right there,” Ms. Gordon said. “I’ve been doing all the things, and it’s not really producing the result that I’ve been promised for, you know, the majority of my life. And I’m also seeing other people who have been in search of that promise for the majority of their lives also not getting what they thought was going to happen. At a certain point, you kind of got to go, well, maybe it just doesn’t work.” Aubrey Gordon and Michael Hobbes spend each episode of their podcast "Maintenace Phase" exploring what they call the “wellness-industrial complex,” debunking health fads and nutritional advice. [archived link]
posted by sciatrix at 9:39 AM PST - 55 comments

Scotland Is Now the First Country to Require LGBTQ+ History in Schools

The new curriculum will also incorporate queer topics into everyday learning. More info from [via]
posted by ellieBOA at 8:26 AM PST - 15 comments

What ho, I claim this house as sovereign property!

The new and perplexing vexations of sovereign citizens [NYTIMES] Sometimes I read an article about a social phenomenon that is completely perplexing. This is one of those times. And if you liked the coverage of incidents reviewed in book A Libertarian into a Bear and here, this story is DEFINITELY for you. [more inside]
posted by ec2y at 5:41 AM PST - 101 comments

Why America has a school bus driver shortage

~81% of districts reported not being able to find enough school bus drivers to fill their needs. TLDR: Driver demographic is particularly susceptible to Covid19. Poor pay. Rough schedule. Amazon! An answer: busses with stripper poles. From The Hustle.
posted by gregoreo at 2:38 AM PST - 76 comments

The corrupt system behind US medical supply shortages

Today, with supply chains tangled in knots and shortages everywhere in the economy, it’s easy to blame what’s gone wrong merely on the disruptions caused by Covid. Indeed, David Frum at the Atlantic is the latest to mock the idea that there is something wrong with our markets that set us up with a fragile system. Frum criticized the new approach to concentration as taking us back to the 1970s. Pursuing ‘resiliency’ translates in “plainer English as higher taxes and higher prices.” Instead, he suggests that we should, in the face of inflation and shortages, “do nothing,” because the immutable laws of supply and demand will work themselves out. There are a couple of reasons that dismissive attitude doesn’t make sense. Matt Stoller's newsletter, Big, explains how a buying cartel has controlled US medical supplies for 25 years.
posted by Bella Donna at 1:17 AM PST - 17 comments

September 26

Astronomia III: Heaven And Hell In The Serpent's Tail

Nick Rhodes And Wendy Bevan Release Astronomia III: Heaven And Hell In The Serpent's Tail [OrcaSound] Astronomia is a 52-song, 4-volume project being released as 4 albums. Astronomia III: Heaven And Hell In The Serpent's Tail [YT Audio playlist] came out on September 23, 2021. It can be heard (or purchased) on these online services. (Previously: Astronomia I, Astronomia II) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:58 AM PST - 6 comments

Frank Oz vs Disney

Frank Oz: “Disney Doesn’t Want Me” To Do The Muppets Anymore As a former Henson employee I can attest that during Jim’s funeral more than one fellow employee said to me, “It was the Disney deal that killed Jim.” George Lucas was at the reception and he saw what I saw: 4 Disney suits hovering over Jim’s children, telling them in overly familiar tones, “You’re family now. Let’s close our deal.” This was minutes after the funeral. It was stomach turning.
posted by joetrip at 7:33 AM PST - 35 comments

How one professor changed the culture of mathematics for his students

Later, as a professor, he noticed a pattern. Ardila’s Black, Latino, and women students who went on to Ph.D. programs also told stories of isolation and exclusion…so Ardila…set out to create, in his own classroom, a new kind of math environment.
Federico Ardila-Mantilla, SFSU professor, has strived to create a new culture in math. One that is more inclusive from the first day of class (excerpt from “The End of Bias: A Beginning”).
posted by sp160n at 7:19 AM PST - 30 comments

A Mathematician's Guided Tour Through Higher Dimensions

The Journey to Define Dimension - "The concept of dimension seems simple enough, but mathematicians struggled for centuries to precisely define and understand it." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:09 AM PST - 8 comments

Canada, China and US were all doomed to lose in Meng Wanzhou’s case

The deal allowing Meng Wanzhou to return home to China (The Guardian) nearly three years after her arrest will come as a relief to all the participants in a saga that rapidly turned from a narrow legal dispute into an escalating geopolitical battle. [more inside]
posted by xdvesper at 3:08 AM PST - 26 comments

Many Amen breaks, and other breaks, and arps, and other 90s things

A two hour DJ set by Four Tet, recorded at the Lost Village Festival on August 28th, 2021. (Rough set list at MixesDB)
posted by Going To Maine at 12:22 AM PST - 7 comments

Netflix Cowboy Bebop adaptation releases opening credits

Netflix releases the opening credits (Tank!) for the new adaptation, which comes out in November. Original here, for comparison [more inside]
posted by wooh at 12:21 AM PST - 71 comments


Rob Sheridan: Many of you sent me this viral photo of a skull toilet - a “Skoilet,” if you will - and I am very grateful, because this is of course Extremely My Shit. I had to know more, and I ended up down a rabbit hole into the fascinating world of luxury European designer skoilets. THREAD / Threadreader
posted by ellieBOA at 12:15 AM PST - 26 comments

September 25

Impressive Cheekbones If Nothing Else

Netflix has released the first footage from the upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman's "Sandman"
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:31 PM PST - 57 comments

Copying a mid-century stool….mid-14th century BCE

Copying a mid-century stool….mid-14th century BCE -- in which brachiopod (self-described "hobbyist woodworker") builds a stunning replica of an ancient Egyptian stool and documents the process with many photographs and charming sketches. Well worth a look for woodworkers, but even non-woodworkers will enjoy the research and reverse-engineering involved. [via mefi projects]
posted by mpark at 12:48 PM PST - 31 comments

Into The Woods

Stephen Sondheim wanted to something funny. After the intensity of Sunday In The Park With George, he decided to turn, again with James Lapine, to classic art. In this case, fairy tales. The resulting show, Into The Woods, is one of those truly magical creations, running for over 750 performances across nearly 2 full years on the boards. It lost the 1987 Best Musical Tony Award to Phantom, but won Best Score and Best Book and Best Actress, so. there. Here is the American Playhouse filming of the original Broadway production of Into The Woods [2h31m]. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 5:09 AM PST - 38 comments

September 24

I figured he knew what he was talking about.

Dan Savage Revolutionized Sex. Then the Revolution Came for Him. What does he believe now? [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 6:39 PM PST - 62 comments

“The room doesn’t seem to have an exit, or even a window.”

Party Is Such Sweet Sorrow is a free, online, point-and-click ‘90s homage mystery game published by Vice.
It was designed by Anthony Smith, who you might recall from his earlier Google Docs Escape Room
posted by Going To Maine at 5:19 PM PST - 91 comments

Mississippi John Hurt Video Collection

Mississippi John Hurt Video Collection

Pretty much what it says on the tin, but, oh, the cameos — both aural and visual.
posted by y2karl at 3:23 PM PST - 19 comments

We've come to take your toilet

plumbing adventures in the big apple My daughter had a similar experience last week so this kind of experience is apparently not that rare - the mind boggles...
posted by leslies at 2:48 PM PST - 20 comments

The Digital Death of Collecting

How platforms mess with our tastes. In the era of algorithmic feeds, it’s as if the bookshelves have started changing shape on their own in real time, shuffling some material to the front and downplaying the rest like a sleight-of-hand magician trying to make you pick a specific card — even as they let you believe it’s your own choice. (Substack) (Previous Kyle Chayka posts.) [more inside]
posted by gusottertrout at 2:47 PM PST - 30 comments

Time for walkies

How Many Daily Steps Should You Take to Live Longer? Gretchen Reynolds for the NYT. Two studies suggest the sweet spot for longevity lies around 7,000 to 8,000 daily steps or about 30 to 45 minutes of exercise most days. [more inside]
posted by bq at 11:00 AM PST - 49 comments

sign read: "PERMANENTLY CLOSED." The lock on the door was busted.

Two short, bittersweet scifi stories about people changing their journeys. "Personal Trainer" by Meg Elison has a new way to exercise and a new kind of hammock to relax in. "Wait Calculation" by Derrick Boden has political intrigue aboard a generation ship.
posted by brainwane at 10:24 AM PST - 6 comments

Doctor Who: Russell T Davies returns as showrunner

Screenwriter/producer Russell T Davies, who helped revive the sci-fi series Doctor Who in 2005 will return to take over the show again next year. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:54 AM PST - 55 comments

My Drowning (And Other Inconveniences)

Link to Outside article. Tim Cahill recounts his experience of drowning while on a Colorado River raft trip and the aftermath. (Archive link).
posted by elmay at 8:44 AM PST - 19 comments

History’s most daring freediver

Natalia (Molchanov) was regarded as a sort of sage in the sport. “Freediving is not only sport,” she once said, “it's a way to understand who we are. When we go down, if we don't think, we understand we are whole. We are one with world.” Through deconcentration, a form of advanced meditation she described as having evolved from techniques used by ancient warriors, she could reset her mind and feel more prepared to take on the world. But in 2015, during a presumably routine training dive near the Mediterranean island of Formentera, she disappeared. She never resurfaced—just literally vanished into the sea. Secrets of The World’s Greatest Freediver, Alexey Molchanov, from GQ. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 6:25 AM PST - 33 comments

Taking the Shame Out of Female Anatomy

Taking the Shame Out of Female Anatomy (SLNYT) Allison Draper loved anatomy class. As a first-year medical student at the University of Miami, she found the language clear, precise, functional.... Then one day she looked up the pudendal nerve, which provides sensation to the vagina and vulva, or outer female genitalia. The term derived from the Latin verb pudere: to be ashamed. [more inside]
posted by kathrynm at 6:17 AM PST - 44 comments

That village near Gomorrah got too hot for Lot

The city’s destruction was associated with some unknown high-temperature event. An interdisciplinary research team claims that the ancient city of Tall el-Hammam (present-day Jordan) was destroyed by a meteor, or comet which detonated in mid-air. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 6:15 AM PST - 29 comments

Thank you, Tecuelhuetzin. But our tlahtoāni is in another yāōcalli.

The old-school, side-scroller game for Android and iOS, "Yaopan. Un Juego de la Conquista" was developed by scholars at UNAM to challenge popular historical narratives. You play as a Tlaxcalan during the conquest and the fall of Tenochtitlan. (Text is in Spanish with Nahuatl words, but the game is playable without reading it.)
posted by eotvos at 5:29 AM PST - 3 comments

We need to talk about 'moderate' Democrats

Why Are Moderates Trying to Blow Up Biden's Centrist Economic Plan? [ungated] - "In attacking the Build Back Better Act, they are working against their own purported aims." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:44 AM PST - 54 comments

September 23

Anita Mui

The biopic trailer of the Cantopop legend, a pet project of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragons producer and friend, Bill Kong.
posted by toastyk at 8:46 PM PST - 4 comments

Pause and calm down, not pause and reload.

The Secret To a Fight-Free Relationship. "Conventional wisdom says that venting is cathartic and that we should never go to bed angry. But couples who save disagreements for scheduled meetings show the benefits of a more patient approach to conflict." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 3:34 PM PST - 31 comments

Dun dun dun dun...dah dah dah dah

The archive department of Fremantle Media, the company that owns the Thames Televison archive and brand, has been posting its contents the Thames TV YouTube Channel for some time. It contains playlists by subject, and a compilation of the iconic Thames Television station identification from 1968 to the 2000s. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:31 PM PST - 18 comments


Instacart workers have organized a national boycott ahead of a rumored IPO. An open letter from Instacart Workers. They're asking all customers to delete the app until it improves dismal working conditions and reinstates a 10% tip and commission pay. Instacart previously: Tip theft reported by Business Insider and Prop 22 ruled unconstitutional by Alameda Superior Court
posted by subdee at 2:20 PM PST - 37 comments

The Grand Old Lady

“When we opened the back panel, it revealed an amazing array of moving relays, stepper units and scanning motors worthy of vintage mechanical telephone switching equipment. I happily let my friends play the machine while I sat in the back watching the mechanism work. Eventually, I started to manipulate it, learning how the components worked. This machine taught me Boolean logic and was the genesis of my career as a software engineer.” K Lars Lohn reverse-engineers the electromechanical brain of a 1955 United Tropicana pinball machine.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:14 PM PST - 11 comments

the washy center between acerbic and ambrosial

Like denim jackets and air, apples are everywhere in autumn (and also year-round, but you get it). You can almost smell the "generic apple promotion" of National Apple Month (September!) in the increasingly chilly wind! It only makes sense to rank them—all of them. Apples, ranked: An indisputable list of the best apple varietals we could get our hands on.
posted by sciatrix at 11:46 AM PST - 90 comments

“Soon, you can log in to MetaFilter using your analprint”

The Verge: “The idea for an analprint was sparked by Salvador Dalí, who discovered that 'the anus has 35 or 37 creases, which are as unique as fingerprints'” Real clear science: “A team of researchers primarily based out of Stanford University has engineered a proof-of-concept smart toilet module designed to monitor a user's health based on their urine and stools.” Business Insider: “We know it seems weird, but as it turns out, your anal print is unique...” Mashable: “The so-called Precision Health Toilet is equipped with four cameras: the stool camera, anus camera, and two uroflow cameras.” Boing Boing: “Oh, and apparently one's 'analprint' is scannable and unique” (n.b. it is unclear whether it is 'analprint' or 'anal print')
posted by Wordshore at 11:06 AM PST - 111 comments

Common knowledge but important nonetheless.

Reggie Watts disorients you in the most entertaining way. [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 10:12 AM PST - 20 comments

"I am here on business and my accountant's a real wizard."

Alexandra Erin (previously) posts short speculative fiction stories on her Patreon, including a one-sided conversation about dead people posting status updates on Facebook, a fairy tale about a healer's price, a political horror story about scars that don't go away, and a card game in space (part of a series). (Disclaimer: a friend.)
posted by brainwane at 9:23 AM PST - 3 comments

‘Iran was our Hogwarts’

my childhood between Tehran and Essex SLTheGuardian Even though I am a portly, red-faced person with beady, pale eyes, I recognize everything about this long read, and I suspect many MeFites whose parents were immigrants will too.
posted by mumimor at 5:56 AM PST - 18 comments

Starship Impossible, or, White Giant

Remember Spamland, the bizarre 2006/2007 animated short trilogy set in a world where the gibberish they used to put in spam emails is real? Recently, its creators, The Brother McLeod, have released a twelve-part animated sci-fi comedy parodying Star Trek and its ilk, Starship Impossible. Total runtime: a little over half an hour. Contains extremely simply drawn nudity.
posted by BiggerJ at 5:13 AM PST - 2 comments

A Knockout (Against the Machine)

Noga Erez's new video from her reworked KIDS (Against the Machine) Album [more inside]
posted by gusottertrout at 4:23 AM PST - 2 comments

sing together

Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the universal power of the pentatonic scale. Apropos of absolutely nothing except sometimes it's good to be reminded, every 10 years or so, that it exists (previously and previouslier).
posted by fight or flight at 4:10 AM PST - 21 comments

So which songs should've been on this list instead?

666 Teeth: the best metal songs EVAH!1! (Well, according to Dutch music journalist, metal podcaster and headbanger Peter van der Ploeg.)
posted by MartinWisse at 3:05 AM PST - 25 comments

I'll be: Your man.

Joji - Your Man - A freaking fantastic clip.
posted by kfholy at 2:30 AM PST - 9 comments

The ancient seasons of Australia

Aboriginal Australians were acutely aware of the annual cycles of their home. Researchers at the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO have compiled calendars detailing the many seasons of Australia based upon their understanding.
posted by adept256 at 12:38 AM PST - 8 comments

September 22

Ultrasonic Teabag Warhead

Is Steeping Your Balls the Future of Male Birth Control? A new male contraception prototype called COSO Contraception could provide a form of long-acting reversible birth control for men. German design graduate Rebecca Weiss won a James Dyson Award for conceiving the device, which uses ultrasound waves to temporarily halt sperm regeneration. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:02 PM PST - 26 comments

The Search Engine of 1896

A Very Old Search Engine "The end of the 19th century was awash with the written word..." [more inside]
posted by kathrynm at 5:22 PM PST - 12 comments

Color Is Weird

Brown Does Not Exist (SLYT)
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 4:50 PM PST - 33 comments

I had a chance to travel anywhere. Why did I pick Spokane? (SLNYT)

Link to NYT article Having been to Spokane on more than one occasion, I couldn't resist clicking this link. Instead of a snarky takedown, I found a poignant reflection on Covid, parenthood, and what we are leaving our children. There's also a lot about baseball :). (Mirror link) [more inside]
posted by elmay at 10:52 AM PST - 24 comments

No One HERE Overthinks Beans

Rancho Gordo, the California-based specialty heirloom bean company, is celebrating its 20th year in business this year. The resulting press has paid homage not only to founder Steve Sando and the unlikely founding of the company, but also to Rancho Gordo's Bean Club, a subscription service treating members to a variety box of beans four times a year. More so than the beans, though, press about the Bean Club has featured another perk enjoyed by members - access to the club's private Facebook group, described by some as "the happiest place on the Internet." [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:47 AM PST - 37 comments

better run nazi scum

The Moomins are the ideal image for @ett_klibbkonto’s protest stickers because they highlight the fact that even the most gentle of people should not stand for fascism. from How the Moomins became an anti-fascist symbol [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 10:44 AM PST - 10 comments

The Great Calamity of the Age

An oral history of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, compiled from eyewitness accounts by Robert Loerzel.
posted by Iridic at 8:10 AM PST - 10 comments

"they were persuaded by the immediacy of suffering"

"Byzantine Empathy" is a novelette by Ken Liu about virtual reality, moral reasoning, atrocities, institutional philanthropy, geopolitics, and two very determined women at odds with each other. Content note: violence, including harm to children.
posted by brainwane at 7:46 AM PST - 6 comments

Salute the rank

New Space Force uniforms draw comparisons to 'Star Trek,' 'Battlestar Galactica'The Hill, Michael Schnell, 09/21/2021. The Space Force enlisted rank insignia are here, and they look a lot like ‘Star Trek’: 'The Delta, of course, is pure Star Trek and everybody knows it.', Task & Purpose, Jeff Schogol, Sep 21, 2021.
posted by cenoxo at 7:24 AM PST - 87 comments

You don't want this award.

(Content Warning) The Unbelievable Grimness of the Herman Cain Award
posted by backseatpilot at 5:50 AM PST - 459 comments

September 21

"It costs less to house people than to police the unhoused."

Tiffany Ferg talks about [SLYT] influencer vanlife, the history of and discrimination against Roma, homelessness, public housing, legal and physical dangers against people who live in vehicles, and asks if van life an actual rejection of capitalism, materialism, and modern living. [more inside]
posted by AlSweigart at 10:01 PM PST - 14 comments

Pricking, Thumbs, etc

The Tragedy Of Macbeth from Joel Coen and A24, with Denzel and Frances and others. The teasingest of teaser trailers at 55 seconds.
posted by hippybear at 9:23 PM PST - 55 comments

Nominations for Yuletide (2021) are open

You can nominate any "small" fandom (less than 1000 works on ao3 and combined) for the long-running winter holiday exchange event here! [more inside]
posted by subdee at 4:27 PM PST - 8 comments

Living the Good Life

What does a good life look like to you? “For some, the phrase may conjure up images of a close-knit family, a steady job, and a Victorian house at the end of a street arched with oak trees. Others may focus on the goal of making a difference in the world, whether by working as a nurse or teacher, volunteering, or pouring their energy into environmental activism… [more inside]
posted by ReginaHart at 3:28 PM PST - 14 comments


On Sept 13, 2021, hackers self-identifying as "Anonymous" breached domain registrar and web services provider Epik, which provides domain name, hosting, and DNS services for a variety of clients including the Texas GOP, Gab, Parler, and 8chan, among others. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:19 PM PST - 49 comments

Let them eat chipboard

Deadwood Releasing 10.9 Gigatons of Carbon Every Year – More Than All Fossil Fuel Emissions Combined [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 1:45 PM PST - 41 comments

The US Border Patrol filmed whipping migrants gathering water

On the 243rd day of Biden's presidency and the 244th day of a Democratically controlled Congress, US Border Patrol agents were filmed whipping Haitian migrants gathering water. Days earlier, the Biden administration vowed to increase deportation efforts targeting these same refugees [more inside]
posted by paimapi at 1:44 PM PST - 40 comments

Cast down the mighty/send the rich away/fill the hungry/lift the lowly

Ben Wildflower is a Philadelphia-based artist who makes Christian anarchist prints, most famously one of Mary with a raised fist and ringed with words from the Magnificat (artist's note). In an interview with Killing the Buddha, Wildflower discusses his faith, his artistic influences, and his thoughts on right-wing Christian artists like Jon McNaughton ("He makes devotional art to the gods of death").
posted by Cash4Lead at 11:26 AM PST - 19 comments


For the sixth year in a row, comedy writer Demi Adejuyigbe has released a video in honor of the 21st day of September. Previously
posted by pxe2000 at 9:58 AM PST - 47 comments

A chorus belting out a Sanskrit translation of a Welsh poem

Adrian Daub writes for Longreads about choral music in movie soundtracks, asking the question, "But who tells them what to sing?
posted by dellsolace at 9:24 AM PST - 10 comments

animal maps!

Mapping Movements – The Art and the Science "We all love to look at maps of animal movements, but producing good maps is challenging. Thus, our aim was to launch a competition to attract contributions from a broad range of fields, to facilitate knowledge exchange. " [more inside]
posted by dhruva at 8:59 AM PST - 5 comments

It's Grim Up North

Richard H. Kirk of Sheffield electronic band Cabaret Voltaire died today. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:05 AM PST - 31 comments

A horror house of abuse and neglect

"I want to share more about what I witnessed at Rikers Island yesterday." I just returned from Rikers Island where a group of elected officials exercised our legal right to inspect correctional facilities. What I witnessed was a humanitarian crisis. A horror house of abuse and message is simple: decarcerate. [more inside]
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:09 AM PST - 26 comments

You have twenty seconds to comply.

The Scientist and the A.I.-Assisted, Remote-Control Killing Machine [ungated] - "Israeli agents had wanted to kill Iran's top nuclear scientist for years. Then they came up with a way to do it with no operatives present."[1,2] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:44 AM PST - 92 comments

Old Peak Blows

On Sunday, the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma erupted. The hot, thick, fast-moving lava is flowing to the sea, slowly but surely. There's a lot in its way. Thousands have been evacuated, many homes have been destroyed, more destruction is inevitable. No fatalities have been reported. And it's hardly the first time Cumbre Vieja has erupted. Watch live.
posted by chavenet at 4:27 AM PST - 12 comments

September 20

An Absolute Magnet for Bad Tempered Online Debate

Do Taxes Fund Spending?
But, of course, this is the whole point of “Modern Monetary Theory” – as I regularly and apparently irritatingly point out, the first word of that phrase is an adverb modifying the adjective, not an adjective modifying the noun. It’s a theory of modern monetary systems, not a modern theory of monetary systems. That’s why people shouldn’t be surprised to find that there’s not much to it that wasn’t in Keynes. The word “modern” here means “not gold standard” and it is meant to describe a system in which the government sector is able to issue IOUs which don’t need to be paid back; money. That changes things a lot.
Daniel Davies discusses the semantics and substance of Keynesian theory and MMT. [more inside]
posted by mark k at 9:16 PM PST - 13 comments

A fascinating profile of cognitive dissonance in American politics

The Fullbright Paradox: The Fulbright Paradox Race and the Road to a New American Internationalism (should be the paywall free link) , published in Foreign Affairs, is far more than the promised retrospective of J. William Fullbright's career and how it has led to and influenced contemporary events (though it is that). It also points out the foreign policy decisions of Fulbright and his contemporaries were, in fact, based on an internalized belief in racial hierarchy, in which white supremacy shaped decisions and, indeed, history. As such, non-white countries were in some ways deliberately stymied in achieving global parity on an economic or social level. [more inside]
posted by CSE279 at 8:13 PM PST - 8 comments

We work toward the goal of peace for all.

The Shanti Sena Mini-Manual pretty accurately sums up the way the Rainbow Family of Living Light deals with violent situations when they arise at Gatherings. [more inside]
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 5:05 PM PST - 22 comments

China vs. Capitalism

Xi Jinping Aims to Rein In Chinese Capitalism, Hew to Mao’s Socialist Vision Mr. Xi’s conviction: Chinese socialism under sole control of the party will prevail over U.S.-style capitalism. [more inside]
posted by jcrcarter at 3:57 PM PST - 39 comments

Screenwriters directory

The Writers Guild of America "Find a Writer" search is fun. IMDb has a ton of ads these days and the WGA site is, in contrast, calm and text-based. See TV and movie writing credits for writers such as Naren Shankar, Gretchen J. Berg, Glen A. Larson, Susannah Grant (the writer of Erin Brockovich), Jane Espenson, Callie Khouri (the writer of Thelma and Louise, who also evidently worked on a pilot with Steven Bochco), and Joss Whedon's father and grandfather. Or check out the season-by-season writing staff of shows such as Psych or Saturday Night Live. And if you search for "pilot" and choose the "other" tab you see a long list of intriguing TV pilots that did not make it to series.
posted by brainwane at 9:29 AM PST - 3 comments

America is a Pyramid Scheme

America is a pyramid scheme. “It relies on people buying into the American Dream and then working hard to get to the top. But of course - almost no one does. Beneath each successful person in America is a downline of unpaid and underpaid labor.” So reads the buried lede in Anne Helen Petersen‘s insightful interview with Meg Conley where they discuss 'LulaRich,’ a baffling story of greed, crime, and crappy leggings. What shape is more sustainable (and more delicious) than a pyramid? A doughnut.
posted by ReginaHart at 9:18 AM PST - 46 comments

I guess we should have a Canadian election thread

Because I guess there's a Canadian election today.
posted by clawsoon at 7:34 AM PST - 399 comments

From Nobel laureate to global pariah

How the world got Abiy Ahmed and Ethiopia so wrong "In less than two years, Abiy has gone from darling of the international community to pariah, condemned for his role in presiding over a protracted civil war that, by many accounts, bears the hallmarks of genocide and has the potential to destabilize the wider Horn of Africa region." [more inside]
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 5:38 AM PST - 7 comments

all federal Indian law is on the table

Award-winning Cherokee writer, activist and journalist Rebecca Nagle [ᎪᎯᏂ ᏓᏆᏙᎠ. ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ.] has focused the second season of her This Land podcast (previously, previouslier) on a Texas foster care case that is turning out to be something much more ominous: a far right federal trojan horse using Native children, and aiming for the wholesale dismantling of American Indian rights in the U.S. [more inside]
posted by progosk at 3:21 AM PST - 15 comments

September 19

The Other Afghan Women

In the countryside, the endless killing of civilians turned women against the occupiers who claimed to be helping them. (SLNYorker) [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:26 PM PST - 41 comments

A story about NYC delivery workers and the conditions they endure

Ride Like Hell.  Exploited by apps. Attacked by thieves. Unprotected by cops. 65,000 strong, with only themselves to count on. Revolt of the Delivery Workers. Reportage by NY Magazine.
posted by lalochezia at 5:14 PM PST - 25 comments

You feel like shit.

An interactive self-care guide. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong at 2:02 PM PST - 46 comments

Angry Songs For Sad People

If you like heavy metal music you should consider checking out 𝐖𝐀𝐑𝐆𝐀𝐒𝐌, an electro-metal screamo-pop post-hardcore "nu metal" duo* with hints of riotgrrl and hip-hop and dub-step, fresh off winning Best UK Breakthrough Band at the 2021 Heavy Metal Music Awards. Suggested start: BACKYARD BASTARDS [cw: blood and violence and cheerleaders] [more inside]
posted by glonous keming at 9:44 AM PST - 20 comments

"The woman is absolutely riveting. I can't. She's so brilliant." -humbug

Elaine Stritch At Liberty [2h25m, Wikipedia]
posted by hippybear at 7:54 AM PST - 5 comments

September 18

Paris is taking space back from cars. Here's how.

The Liberation of Paris From Cars Is Working - "The French capital is quickly cutting automobiles out of daily life. David Belliard is the deputy mayor behind it."[1,2] (previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:11 PM PST - 44 comments

Three and/or Sixty-One Literary Bears

Patricia Lockwood (LRB, 08/12/2021), "Pull Off My Head": "Is Bear one of those 1970s books about growing out your armpit hair? Kind of, but not only. Is it a metaphor for our relationship to nature? Fuck off." Marlena Williams (LitHub, 10/23/2020), "Sylvia Plath... Nature Writer?": "'The Fifty-Ninth Bear' taught me about the darker, sulfuric thing bubbling under the surface of love, and I became a person suspicious of heterosexual romance, uninterested in marriage." Naomi Ishiguro (Granta, 02/03/2020), "Bear": "For a moment I was almost proud of her, even if it did mean we had to bring back this vast sixty-five-pound bear, to share our home with us."
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:56 AM PST - 11 comments


The third season of HBO's Succession arrives on October 17th. Trailer. [more inside]
posted by youarenothere at 10:10 AM PST - 50 comments

The Bangladesh Safety Accord has been renewed.

Originally postponed for renewal by the pandemic, garment brands and global unions have come to an agreement on workplace safety. The original accord grew out of a response to several factory fires in Bangladesh in 2010 where workers were killed due to unsafe working conditions. The deal has only been renewed for two years, and many major US brands, such as Walmart, the Gap, JC Penney, have refused to sign it. It has received scant attention in US mainstream media. H&M and Zara are among the major brands that have signed on to renew; however, campaigners are calling upon everyone to do more, to also protect workers wages. [more inside]
posted by toastyk at 7:32 AM PST - 12 comments


Stephen Sondheim was being stymied by historical events. After the truly massive success of Into The Woods, he delved into darker subjects for his next show, 1990's Assassins. An exploration of the American Dream and the broken people it fails, the show opened Off-Broadway just a month before the First Gulf War began. Public sentiment during wartime didn't favor criticism of US culture, and the show never transferred to Broadway. When it finally did land on The Great White Way in 2004, THAT production was delayed from its intended 2001 opening due to 9/11. Here is a "C-grade" VHS audience filming of the Broadway Production from 2004, with Neal Patrick Harris and Michael Cerveris. It's watchable, but it isn't great. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:36 AM PST - 28 comments

“I’ve had the greatest job... and I feel like the luckiest person"

After a 35-year run leading Chicago’s most prestigious theater company, Goodman Theatre artistic director Robert Falls is to resign, effective at the end of the current season in August 2022. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:33 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

September 17

volunteering, mistakes, & "when we get the least signaling about it"

"We have to be willing to let someone else make mistakes and do it worse sometimes." Marissa Lingen reminds us that it's important to step back from particular volunteer jobs if you've been doing them for a long time -- for your own sake, and for the health of the organization. And: "Also of concern, and very hard to bring up: sometimes A’s skills slip for one reason or another. Yes, you. Even if you’re A.....we never think it’s us. We never think, I bet I’m the problem here."
posted by brainwane at 9:54 PM PST - 42 comments

Modern Sounds at the Mother Church

Adia Victoria's version of "You Was Born To Die" (feat. Kyshona, Margo Price, & Jason Isbell) knocked me flat. She's one of the seven women of color set to open Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit's upcoming series of concerts at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Sound up, enjoy the YT jukebox. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:33 PM PST - 6 comments

There will be no dice required for this phase

ProZD: ameritrash vs euro games. That is all.. That's the video.
posted by Pendragon at 4:27 PM PST - 38 comments

Life inside of a US detention center

(cw: physical and sexual abuse) Earlier today, Project South released their collaborative report, Medical Abuse of Immigrants Detained at the Irwin County Detention Center [pdf full text], detailing the results of their investigation into and eventual success at shutting down just one of hundreds of ICE detention facilities that exist in the US [more inside]
posted by paimapi at 4:00 PM PST - 4 comments

How old do you have to be to consent to your own healthcare?

There is no fixed age for adulthood in England and Wales. At age 10 you have full criminal responsibility for your actions, at 14 you can get a job, at 16 you can change your name, at 18 you can buy alcohol, at 21 you can adopt a child. Since 1986 and the case of Gillick vs West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority (judgement) there has been no fixed age at which you can consent to your own healthcare treatment, overriding parental consent. Instead the competency to consent of a child under 16 is determined by the relevant treating physician on an individual basis, known as Gillick competence. Guidelines for its application were provided by in the judgement by Lord Fraser. [more inside]
posted by plonkee at 2:43 PM PST - 11 comments

The economists’ reassurances were closer to hopeful guesses

Benjamin Franta has published an paper about the role economists in think tanks and academia played in global warming denial.
posted by eotvos at 1:48 PM PST - 4 comments

A whole new way to make electronic music

In a way, Bespoke is like if I smashed Ableton to bits with a baseball bat, and asked you to put it back together. [more inside]
posted by MrVisible at 12:15 PM PST - 37 comments

A background noise generator that truly has it all

Ambient Chaos
posted by MetaFilter World Peace at 11:46 AM PST - 16 comments

Minnesota police: Please help us not shoot you

Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety is offering a “Not-Reaching Pouch.” "It’s a clear plastic pouch ... for storing a driver’s license and insurance information. The idea is that the pouches will help reduce the likelihood of officers panicking and shooting drivers who are reaching for their documents during traffic stops. ... 'We are continually looking for ways to reduce deadly force encounters as these instances can be catastrophic for police officers, and community members,' said DPS Assistant Commissioner Booker Hodges." [more inside]
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 10:24 AM PST - 88 comments

Creating is the most intense excitement one can come to know.

Typewriters and tactile textiles: How Anni Albers brought a modernist touch to the ancient art of weaving - Maria Müller-Schareck in Kvadrat Interwoven [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:51 AM PST - 2 comments

"disgrace and pride, forgetting and remembering, change and stasis”

Where the Devil Don't Stay: Traveling the South with the Drive-By Truckers: "The book is partly a band biography of the Drive-By Truckers, partly a travelogue through the South they depict in their songs, and partly an examination of the cultural and political underpinnings of their music. The chapters are all grounded in specific places—including the Shoals, Birmingham, Memphis, Richmond, and Athens, Georgia. Geography is more prominent than chronology, although it does trace their arc from southern rock band to American Band. That 2016 album is renowned for its very explicit political songwriting, but I argue that their songs have always had a political edge to them. They have always grappled with gun violence, income inequality, extremism of all kinds, the urban/rural divide, Confederate flag and monuments and Southern iconography in general, but for most of their career they did so through the filter of characters and stories and places. On American Band they confronted these matters very directly and very explicitly, which has carried over to The Unraveling and The New OK." (Bookshop/University of Texas Press) [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 7:34 AM PST - 18 comments

The Pinball Wizard of Illinois

"McLean, Illinois, has a population of 750 people and 100 pinball machines." The tiny Illinois town, 15 miles outside Bloomington-Normal, is experiencing a downtown revival after a pinball collector opened not one but two pinball arcades. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:13 AM PST - 23 comments

Plainte - Chekoua - Lamentation / Épreuve - Mihna - Hardship

Chris Silver (Gharamaphone): "In May 2020, I posted Sariza Cohen's stunning recording of 'أَشْكُوا الْغَـرَامَ' (Ashku al-gharam) [Soundcloud], released ... in 1938. This is the other side of that record [Soundcloud]. It is no less remarkable. Here the pianist and vocalist from Oran performs a composition by Algerian Jewish impresario Edmond Nathan Yafil." More on Yafil in "Breaking the Colonial Spell" by Jonathan Glasser, whose introductory anthro lecture "What is a Boundary Good For?" also reflects on Line Monty, Alice Fitoussi, and Salim Hilali. A detail connecting her to music trends in metropolitan France and the US is that Sariza Cohen's brothers operated the well-known Café des Ambassadeurs (producing a revue by Cole Porter) and Maxsa record label (helping popularize jazz etc.).
posted by Wobbuffet at 6:07 AM PST - 2 comments

September 16

Beginning of the end for religious exemption of vaccine mandates?

A hospital system in Arkansas wants to make sure anyone claiming religious exemption to vaccines is sincere, by also making them attest, acknowledge, and affirm that they object to the use of fetal cell lines in testing and development of not just vaccines, but some of the most common OTC medicines such as Tylenol, Tums, Preparation H, Prilosec, Zoloft, Claritin, Sudafed, Benadryl, Motrin, Lipitor... all in all about 30 or so, which is hardly a complete list of OTC medicine that used such cell lines.
The president of the Health Group saw an uptick in religious exemptions for the COVID vaccine that was WAY over the typical seasonal request over the flu vaccine. [more inside]
posted by kschang at 9:45 PM PST - 89 comments

Concrete Thinking

"What’s the most underrated material in the modern world? How about CONCRETE? Often dismissed as boring, ugly & inert. Concrete is actually surprising, dynamic & incredibly complex. With that in mind here are a few reasons why we need to start talking about concrete" (a Twitter thread from Ed Conway; Threadreader version). [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:14 PM PST - 48 comments

"you are asked to believe them. But I am an unreliable narrator."

"Impairment phenomenology is different from other kinds of phenomenology in that it does not assume a subject in command of their own faculties." Scholar Jonathan Sterne has written a forthcoming book, Diminished Faculties: A Political Phenomenology of Impairment; the introduction is now available (PDF, 54 pages, 2.5MB). The introduction briefly explains what phenomenology is, and discusses disability simulations, Sterne's own experience of thyroid cancer and an acquired impairment in his voice, the "humanities 'we'", policy implications, the interior voice, and more. It also includes excerpts from Sterne's blog posts about his disability, and a cute illustration called "Things That Are 7.5 Centimeters". [more inside]
posted by brainwane at 3:19 PM PST - 8 comments

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair 1940–2021

[wikipedia] Sir Clive Marles Sinclair (30 July 1940 – 16 September 2021) was an English entrepreneur and inventor, most commonly known for his work in consumer electronics in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He passed away on the morning of 16 September 2021 after a long illness. [more inside]
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 12:23 PM PST - 73 comments

That's a Lot of Dead People and Crime

Let Me Say This With As Much Sensitivity As I Can: Wow, That’s a Lot of Dead People and Crime. Ben Mathis-Lilley at Slate on the long, strange history of disgraced South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh's family.
posted by goatdog at 12:11 PM PST - 50 comments

Proise, Grantfulness, Glofe, and most of all, Chart

With so many disasters pumelling the UK simultaneously—Brexit, Covid, GB News—it's nice to see that our most famous sponge monarch has decided to share her innermost thoughts with us as a balm to a broken nation. Queen Elizabeth II is now issuing a digital newsletter, defiantly written in her own hand and controversially available to aristocrats and commoners alike, and it's a true delight. The latest royal retelling? Wondruful I Just foumd Proncess Diano Skleneton Isnade A Suit Or Amror [more inside]
posted by Ten Cold Hot Dogs at 11:16 AM PST - 19 comments

Rolling Stone's New List of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Let the arguing begin. Rolling Stone first published its 500 Greatest Songs list in 2004, when the iPod was relatively new and Billie Eilish was three years old. Music has changed immeasurably since, so they remade the list from scratch.
posted by holborne at 10:40 AM PST - 186 comments

What's the smallest amount you can spend for a million of something?

An ongoing twitter thread exploring the lowest it's possible to spend to get a million of something. "Manufactured products only, must be ordered by specific quantity written on the pack or in singles ('pack of 10'). Must not be ordered by volume ('ml')."
posted by secretdark at 6:55 AM PST - 77 comments

It measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile

Enough with the GDP — it's time to measure genuine progress - "Unlike GDP, the Genuine Progress Indicator is designed to measure economic performance from the perspective of ordinary American households, not corporations or Wall Street investors."[1,2] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 5:43 AM PST - 22 comments

September 15

How do you like them books?

eBooks vs Printed Books: Which are better?

The history of the book starts with the development of writing, paper and printing.

Now there's an ongoing debate over which is better - e-books or paper books. [more inside]
posted by bendy at 9:26 PM PST - 163 comments

I could be anymeme you like

I can be brown, I can be blue, I can be violet sky... (sltwitter)
posted by curious nu at 7:55 PM PST - 20 comments

Volume warning

"The Federal Signal Thunderbolt siren is one of the most famous 'older sirens' in the history of sirens." Check out the high-low fire signal on this one in Sarnia, ON, one that's flooded, in Maysville, OK, one on full alert in Seminole, OK, an alternate wail in Saint Paul, NE, an unwell example in Riceville, IA, or watch private owners of various Thunderbolt models test out their siren in the yard, demonstrate the Thunderbolt's "chopper" levels, the hi-lo solenoid, its "pulse signal," a decoupled "blower" in action, extra blower action, or dual Thunderbolts in concert. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:49 PM PST - 23 comments

Lil Nas X Gala Look Behind The Scenes

Behind Lil Nas X's Royal Met Gala Looks [6m27s YouTube video from Vogue] I thought it was fun to watch him have fun with very expensive clothing. Also, great looks!
posted by hippybear at 6:15 PM PST - 26 comments

A Musical Interlude...

Skylark, a 1941 popular song with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Hoagy Carmichael and the jazz stylings of Ella Fitzgerald...
posted by jim in austin at 3:26 PM PST - 11 comments


Amitav Ghosh's meditations on the myth of the voiceless.
posted by Ouverture at 3:18 PM PST - 4 comments

Rewild Your Attention

"If you want to have wilder, curiouser thoughts, you have to avoid the industrial monocropping of big-tech feeds. You want an intellectual forest, overgrown with mushrooms and towering weeds and a massive dead log where a family of raccoons has taken up residence." Clive Thompson's "Rewilding Your Attention" (Medium) is a brief reflection on the value of seeking out idiosyncratic content. Time to go for a random walk in the woods.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:05 PM PST - 20 comments

Courtney’s Story

"“‘Oh my God, please tell the truth,'” she recalled saying as Meyer spoke. “I was on my hands and knees, going, ‘Please tell the truth, Urban, please.'” Urban Meyer would fail Courtney Smith that day, and he wasn’t alone. Defector’s conversations with Courtney and those who are close to her, as well as the examination of hundreds of pages of records from law enforcement, the courts, and Ohio State, reveal the many ways that people and institutions across Ohio acted to primarily protect themselves rather than Courtney." CW:Abuse [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 12:48 PM PST - 12 comments

I'll paint you mornings of gold, I'll spin you Valentine evenings

The Labyrinth (of Jareth) Masquerade Ball is an annual dance and narrative theatrical event, based in Los Angeles and inspired by the As The World Falls Down sequence from Jim Henson's Labyrinth (Fanfare). Photo galleries of attendees' elaborate costumes from the last seven years: '13 '14 '15 '16 '17 '18 '19. (The ball is planned to return in 2022 after two years of health and safety concerns.) An article at Cosplay Culture goes into more detail about the ball's evolving storyline and how much work goes into it each year.
posted by one for the books at 11:54 AM PST - 9 comments

My hovercraft is full of eels

How to Say What You Need to Say in Another Language. "You know those language textbook dialogues? Where people seem to talk more about silverware (“the fork, the knife”) and what color things are more than any real person ever does and, having mastered these locutions, you get off the plane in a place where the language is spoken and can barely figure out how to say, “How do I get outside?”" [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:30 AM PST - 117 comments

Get off my lawn

In which a guy decries Sally Rooney, praises Ottessa Moshfegh, ties himself into a knot about Philip Roth, dumps on Ben Lerner, and includes the names Toni Morrison, Raven Leilani, and Zadie Smith.
posted by scratch at 6:45 AM PST - 40 comments

On singleness, self-sufficiency and masculinity

There is no real guidebook for a woman alone in her home. No one threw me a shower. To give me pots and pans. The ones I’d left behind and couldn’t afford to replace. No one to give me hammers and socket wrenches. No one told me about furnace filters or gutter cleaning or caulking. There was only me and a house and a vast gap of knowledge. Single homeowner Lyz Lenz thanks the dads of YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 6:15 AM PST - 54 comments

The Innovation of Modular Housing: How Buildings Learn Pattern Languages

Apartments Built on an Assembly Line [ungated] - "The pandemic put a general crimp in housing construction, but made a California factory that churns out prefabricated housing extra busy."[1,2] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:56 AM PST - 33 comments

September 14

Amu Darya, Brahmaputra, Ganga, Indus, Irrawaddy, Mekong, Yangtze

The Third Pole is a multilingual site focused on the Himalayan Mountains, the rivers that originate there and the stories of the peoples who live in its watersheds. Stories on unravelling air pollution in Asia. Songs about loss, longing and rivers in Bangladesh. Photos of the communities threatened by the Cambodian government's ambitious development. Don't miss the videos. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 4:50 PM PST - 4 comments

The most popular Canadian compilation of all time

An oral history of Big Shiny Tunes, a series of alt rock compilation albums (example) released by MuchMusic.
posted by a feather in amber at 3:09 PM PST - 31 comments

We Need(ed) a Resolution

Due to the grace of the 'Lord,' the important label Blackground Records is releasing its catalog to Digital Streaming Platforms thru Oct 1 of this year. That means Aaliyah, Timbaland & Magoo, Toni Braxton, JoJo and Ashley Parker Angel (and R&B artist Tank) get to be heard by - roughly - a new gen. On top of that, Blackground is releasing a lot of videos on YouTube, including gems that you already know: We Need a Resolution, Rock the Boat and Try Again (all by Aaliyah). [more inside]
posted by kfholy at 1:58 PM PST - 5 comments


In the newest Fumble Dimension, Jon and Kofie pull the man, the myth, the legend - Clarence BEEFTANK - out of retirement to see if they can create an eternal play in Madden.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:15 PM PST - 11 comments

"That's right - it's a funny name."

Norm MacDonald, former SNL comedian (among many things) has passed away at 61. [more inside]
posted by Zargon X at 12:11 PM PST - 169 comments

"I create mostly by weaving materials found in nature."

Charlie Baker is an artist and builder that makes many kinds of structures and art pieces out of woven branches. He was recently interviewed by Wired [YT] as part of their Obsessed video series.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 10:34 AM PST - 8 comments

mathematic mandalas

Times Tables, Mandelbrot and the Heart of Mathematics [slyt]
posted by dhruva at 8:17 AM PST - 18 comments

"People like him love standard procedure"

Two short scifi/fantasy stories in which customer service folks get to reward customers who treat them well, or punish those who treat them badly. Dyce writes about an isolated refueling station: "Out-of-hours fuelling requires a prior appointment." Aimee Ogden writes about a coffeeshop: "his coffee comes with a nice cantrip that'll help him send all his emails for the next week with zero typos and exactly the right number of exclamation marks."
posted by brainwane at 6:51 AM PST - 14 comments

Le positivisme

Massimiliano Simons (@MassSimons), a philosopher of science at the University of Ghent, is tweeting charming illustrated threads about French philosophers of science and positivists from the turn of the 19th/20th century, figures who sometimes get forgotten or lazily lumped together in anglophone history and philosophy of science. [more inside]
posted by Joeruckus at 3:00 AM PST - 1 comment

September 13

Digital Light

Meet the Little-Known Genius Who Helped Make Pixar Possible [ungated] - "Alvy Ray Smith helped invent computer animation as we know it—then got royally shafted by Steve Jobs. Now he's got a vision for where the pixel will take us next."[1,2,3] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 10:04 PM PST - 20 comments

Using currency from 23 countries

Money Is the One True God - Music video for the Blake Mills song, featuring amazing currency animation by Lachlan Turczan.
posted by dobbs at 4:53 PM PST - 7 comments

"grit & valor" not “sissy pants” & “girlie guns”

Over the years in China, “little fresh meat” celebrities and male beauty bloggers have disrupted the traditional image of what it is to be a man. But recently, Chinese cultural authorities have announced a purge of “morally flawed celebrities.” Setting the frame was a widely promulgated blog essay on the "grit and valor" returning to Chinese culture that “will no longer be a paradise for effeminate stars, and the press will no longer be a place for the worship of Western culture.” Previously on this massive, multi-sector crackdown. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:32 PM PST - 22 comments

“[A good letter] must be plausible, but it must also be ridiculous”

For Gawker, Bennett Madison writes about being a fabulist: “Help! I Couldn’t Stop Writing Fake Dear Prudence Letters That Got Published”
Writing fake letters to advice columns could not be considered a good career move; after all, it was unpaid and I wouldn’t even get a byline out of it. On the other hand, it was easy and creatively fulfilling.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:59 PM PST - 76 comments

One handful of rainbow sprinkles of unknown origin

The Grub Street Diet: Leon Neyfakh Always Waits Too Long to Eat. “Not to be dramatic, but this is something I genuinely hate about myself.”
posted by carolr at 12:37 PM PST - 15 comments

Fingertip Universes 2021-1975

2021 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition – with links to annual Nikon Small World galleries back to 1975.
posted by cenoxo at 11:31 AM PST - 1 comment

The science of obesity was derailed by one experiment

"We argue that the reason so little progress has been made against obesity and type 2 diabetes is because the field has been laboring, quite literally, in the sense intended by philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, under the wrong paradigm. This energy-in-energy-out conception of weight regulation, we argue, is fatally, tragically flawed: Obesity is not an energy balance disorder, but a hormonal or constitutional disorder, a dysregulation of fat storage and metabolism, a disorder of fuel-partitioning."
posted by rednikki at 11:10 AM PST - 88 comments

He's Just a Tired Dad, Trying To Make It Home For Christmas

Marvel's Hawkeye trailer suggests Die Hard vibes for Disney Plus series
posted by chavenet at 10:45 AM PST - 61 comments

Abortion in Coahuila, Mexico has been decriminalized

SCJN: aplica en todo el país despenalización del aborto. Abortion Is No Longer a Crime in Mexico. (NYT) [more inside]
posted by aniola at 9:10 AM PST - 17 comments

“I never, ever hid who I was and I never stopped correcting people”

That time Rae Spoon cancelled their tours due to COVID-19 and then found out they had cancer I only met Rae Spoon once, when they were just starting to tour superioryouareinferior. That 2008 album is a lot of things, and haunting is one of them. If there was ever a perfect encapsulation of what it feels like to live in a place where the whole culture of resource extraction and boom/bust had/has defined generations of people, then "My Heart is a Piece of Garbage Fight Seagulls! Fight!" is it. Fight, Rae. Fight. [more inside]
posted by elkevelvet at 8:02 AM PST - 6 comments

September 12

I don't know how that cat got wedged in an American flag or why

At the Miami Hurricanes home opener, a cat dangles for its life and then is rescued. 2LYT
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:17 PM PST - 36 comments

The last one, Don Maddox, goes to Hillbilly Heaven

The Maddox family walked and rode freight trains from Alabama to California. They came to California with $40 dollars and a dream. They worked the fields and orchards. When they decided to play music, they became the Most Colorful Hillbilly band in California. [more inside]
posted by mule98J at 3:44 PM PST - 10 comments

The Legendary Lao Gan Ma

How Chili Sauce Billionaire Tao Huabi Became a ‘Chinese Dream’ Role Model
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:02 PM PST - 36 comments

The Debarkle

Debarkle traces the history, events and subsequent consequences of the Sad Puppy/Rabid Puppy Kerfuffle at the 2015 Hugo Awards "Six years later, the differences and similarities in stance between the members of the so-called Evil League of Evil revolved around the same framing of world events as they had used for the Hugo Awards: that powerful “elites” were siding with left wing ideologues to transform society using underhand means." [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:39 PM PST - 34 comments

R is for reason and poor old reality. Once in fashion, but now obsolete.

The Public Domain Review introduces the 1913 parody children's book railing against modern art, The Cubies' ABC. (Including full text scans from the Internet Archive.)
posted by eotvos at 12:11 PM PST - 12 comments

Sondheim's Six Ladies In Red

Patti LuPone, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, Donna Murphy, Bernadette Peters, and Elaine Stritch all take the stage and take a turn singing some Sondheim. Thirty minutes of diva delight, with David Hyde Pierce to introduce them.
posted by hippybear at 10:01 AM PST - 14 comments

Does physics require a continuum?

Finitism and Physics - "A brief precis: Gravitational collapse limits the amount of energy present in any space-time region. This in turn limits the precision of any measurement or experimental process that takes place in the region. This implies that the class of models of physics which are discrete and finite (finitistic) cannot be excluded experimentally by any realistic process. Note any digital computer simulation of physical phenomena is a finitistic model. We conclude that physics (Nature) requires neither infinity nor the continuum. For instance, neither space-time nor the Hilbert space structure of quantum mechanics need be absolutely continuous. This has consequences for the finitist perspective in mathematics..." (previously) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:54 AM PST - 92 comments

September 11

Bruce the Tool Using Parrot

Bruce Is a Parrot With a Broken Beak. So He Invented a Tool (SLNYT). [more inside]
posted by kathrynm at 5:55 PM PST - 24 comments

The Dollar Store Jamie Lannister

Confederate DESTROYS Yankee with FACTS and LOGIC (6:37) [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 4:23 PM PST - 13 comments

9/11 and the birth of the Big Lie

9/11 and the birth of the Big Lie (via)
posted by wittgenstein at 2:07 PM PST - 43 comments

Trees are Magnificent, and so can be the words about them.

A Tall Tree Reading List. Featuring five essays: The Wolf Tree and the World Wide Web. Do Trees Talk to Each Another? Illuminating Kirinyaga. Inside the Pacheedaht Nation's stand on Fairy Creek Logging Blockades. When the Toughest Trees meet the Hottest Fires.
posted by storybored at 12:25 PM PST - 6 comments

"…the fury and the momentum of the proudly ill-informed is problematic."

After 9/11, Marc Maron’s Friends Started Choosing Sides – in which Maron connects the rise of so-called anti-woke comedy to the political polarization that emerged in the stand-up comedy scene in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 7:10 AM PST - 67 comments

A Little Night Music

Stephen Sondheim was riding pretty high in 1973. His previous two shows, Company and Follies, were both gigantic artistic successes, and everyone was waiting with baited breath for his new show, A Little Night Music. A period country house drama set mostly in waltz time, the show was Sondheim's third consecutive Best Musical Tony Award winner, and yielded (so far) the only radio hit from a Sondheim show. Here is an excellent filming of the New York City Opera production from 1990 [2h55m]. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:48 AM PST - 17 comments

data rule everything around me

The four most important charts in science & technology (threadreader) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:42 AM PST - 43 comments

September 10

Don’t Believe the Salad Millionaire

You’re smart enough to pick your own lunch, no matter what Sweetgreen's CEO says. "More interesting, though, is how telling Neman’s salvational ramblings are of a harmful conviction about health that America’s wealthiest, most privileged class long ago laundered into common sense: that people who, unlike them, end up sick or poor have simply refused to make the right choices and help themselves."
posted by geoff. at 6:27 PM PST - 51 comments

Short Films, Science Fiction Edition

DUST is a YouTube channel featuring short science fiction films. They post a new film every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Most are live action, some pure CGI, and there are a few animated films as well. [more inside]
posted by maxwelton at 3:41 PM PST - 11 comments

Are clothing and textiles marketed as "vegan" really sustainable?

"I often hear well-meaning people conflate “vegan” with terms like “ethical,” “sustainable,” or “eco-friendly,” as if they can all be used interchangeably. The unnecessary death of animals is of course a bad thing, but as we can see in the case of the silkworm, an animal’s death sometimes produces social and even environmental benefits. Those benefits are often extensive enough that they could be classified as ethical. And given the way clothing is made in today’s intertwined world, where available resources decrease every year and pollution increases—saving one animal often means killing or harming others."
posted by Lycaste at 2:29 PM PST - 48 comments

Ever want to watch a history nerd go shrimping?

Ruth Goodman is a historian specializing in the social and domestic history of Britain. She is also the star of BBC Two's historic farm series. Are you at the "need to watch 40 hours of making cheese and harvesting barley with limited technology" stage of the pandemic? Well then Ruth is here for you. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee at 1:36 PM PST - 36 comments

moments of rest and ease from unexpected corners

John Wiswell has written a few short fantasy stories about domestic settings that turn eerily comfortable or appealing: "Open House on Haunted Hill" and "For Lack of a Bed".
posted by brainwane at 10:43 AM PST - 6 comments

Oddkin: A working letter

But what does it mean to be oddkin? To whom are we actually responsible? The nuclear family restricts the answer to that question to the smallest possible unit: only immediate relatives, not other more distant ones, and certainly not friends or neighbors. This isn’t just a philosophical restriction—it’s built in to our streets and buildings and laws with parking lots and bricks and surveillance cameras. But oddkin rewrites those boundaries, opens them wide up. Oddkin stakes the claim that the shape of kinship isn’t a birthright but a choice, that the people we choose to gather with are connected to us in ways at least equivalent to those we were born alongside. However odd that gathering may be—and Haraway posits that oddkin includes not only people but every living thing around us, the trees and birds and rivers and bugs—it is one in which we are responsible to each other.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:09 AM PST - 13 comments

Bad Faith

Dale Peck on the many contradictions of Andrew Sullivan. (slBaffler)
posted by overeducated_alligator at 9:37 AM PST - 38 comments

Ghost Ships

"You’ve got a boat. It’s been sanctioned. But Kim Jong Un offered you big money for fuel & a Mercedes limo, so you need to start sailing again. What can you do? Launder the vessel's identity. Let me walk you through how." [more inside]
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:07 AM PST - 10 comments

It Looks Like Bert and Elmo Were In On it, Too

As we approach the 20th anniversary of September 11th, old conspiracy theories about the terrorist attacks are starting to resurface. While most of them have been disproven by everyone from the U.S. government to Popular Mechanics, one conspiracy has never been thoroughly investigated: “Did Kermit cause 9/11?” from Why ‘Kermit Did 9/11’ is the Conspiracy Theory That Won’t Croak [Mel Magazine] [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 8:46 AM PST - 12 comments

The mandate has arrived

The President finally announced new requirements for vaccination. In the speech made Thursday, President Biden outlined new rules that would require all federal workers and contractors, as well as employees of all businesses with over 100 employees would be required to be vaccinated, or would face weekly testing and social distancing restrictions in the workplace. [more inside]
posted by sharp pointy objects at 7:30 AM PST - 207 comments

"techno-authoritarian superpower" (with chinese characteristics)

China and Big Tech: Xi's blueprint for a digital dictatorship [ungated] - "By controlling a huge volume of data, Beijing is conducting a grand experiment in 21st century authoritarian governance." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:34 AM PST - 55 comments

September 9

One Woman’s Mission to Rewrite Nazi History on Wikipedia

Coffman knows the book is legit, because she happens to have a copy on loan from the library. When she goes to the cited page, she finds a paragraph that appears to confirm all the Wikipedia article’s wild claims. But then she reads the first sentence of the next paragraph: “This is, of course, nonsense.” 4100 words from Noam Cohen for Wired magazine.
posted by cgc373 at 9:51 PM PST - 50 comments is a platform for hosting a small webpage for your thoughts. it's basically like twitter, but nobody can @ you. [via mefi projects]
posted by aniola at 7:39 PM PST - 15 comments

As I recall I think we both kind of liked it

Ever heard of the Tiffany Problem? It refers to the issue of historical reality confounding our expectations. Tiffany was a real medieval name (a variant of Theophania). It shows up at least as early as 12th century Britain and France, but try naming your fictional medieval character Tiffany and watch readers stumble on the perceived anachronism. Youtuber CGP Grey went on a research adventure to try and figure out how the name got from the Byzantine empire over to English and when the first "Tiffany" used that spelling. He also shares a (much longer) warning about the perils of getting too deep into the details in the research process. [more inside]
posted by Wretch729 at 2:13 PM PST - 30 comments

Not just lighthouse, pagan or witch horror

A24 have involvement in several films this autumn/fall. As well as (delayed) The Green Knight [previous 1] [previous 2] (The Lantern review) and Lamb [previous] (Variety review), there is C'mon C'mon (Vanity Fair review), starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann and Woody Norman, Red Rocket (Slashfilm review) starring Simon Rex, Bree Elizabeth Elrod and Suzanna Son, The Humans, starring Beanie Feldstein, Jayne Houdyshell, Richard Jenkins, Amy Schumer and Steven Yeun, and The Tragedy of MacBeth, directed by Joel Coen and starring Frances McDormand, Denzel Washington and Corey Hawkins. [as ever, reviews and trailers contain spoilers]
posted by Wordshore at 1:40 PM PST - 12 comments

Music: J. Mercer. Lyrics: S. Vimmerstedt.

Sadie Vimmerstedt, who was a resident of Youngstown, Ohio, wrote a letter to Johnny Mercer in February of 1957 suggesting that Mercer write a song entitled “When Somebody Breaks Your Heart,” suggesting the theme “I want to be around to pick up the pieces when somebody breaks your heart.” Mercer responded to Vimmerstedt’s suggestion, wrote the song, sharing authorship with her on a 50/50 basis. Here is Mercer's demo recording of the song. [more inside]
posted by fedward at 12:01 PM PST - 10 comments

NFT - Nothing For Tons (of Cash)

If you thought the NFT mania was nutty before..... As Matthew Levine put it: "Another model is that the value in an NFT comes from a concept, and the value in a fractionalized NFT comes from, like, two concepts. “Take an object / Do something to it / Do something else to it,” Jasper Johns wrote. The essential transaction in an NFT is: Seller: I will sell you a unique pointer to an image of a dog for $4 million. Buyer: Ahahaha good one, that joke is worth $4 million to me, here you go. In a fractionalized NFT you have a slightly richer context: Owner/securitizer: I bought this unique pointer to an image of a dog for $4 million. The public: Ahahaha good one, congrats, money well spent. Owner/securitizer: Also I will sell fractional ownership interests in it for like $225 million. The public: Ahahaha another good one, that joke is worth $225 million to us, here you go. It’s two jokes so it’s worth 55 times as much. I don’t know!" The fractionalized asset would go on to double in value to about $500 million before subsiding. Note - article may be paywalled, open in incognito mode worked for me.
posted by storybored at 11:37 AM PST - 100 comments

the point at which there’s no more of you left to give

Tyla Grant, 24, holds down a full-time advertising job, is trying to get a nonprofit off the ground and creates regular content for her podcast, YouTube channel and Instagram. Occasionally, she winds up so fried she can’t speak or get out of bed for days. Ms. Grant is also autistic. While most people undergo periods of burnout — physical, cognitive and emotional depletion caused by intense, prolonged stress — autistic people, at some point in their lives, experience it on a whole different level. Though little studied, burnout among people with autism has become its own pandemic.
posted by sciatrix at 11:22 AM PST - 17 comments

Attacking their own - weird butterfly aggression

Male milkweed butterflies feeding on catarpillars SLNYT but should be viewable. Fascinating article about a pair of butterfly enthusiasts who inadvertently discovered some very aggressive behavior.
posted by leslies at 10:57 AM PST - 6 comments

The Challenges of Emerging from Lockdown

Ada Limón on Preparing the Body for a Reopened World [slLitHub]
posted by ellieBOA at 10:03 AM PST - 11 comments


National Film & Television School Celebrate over Fifty Years of Film
posted by unliteral at 8:21 AM PST - 1 comment

Marietta resident completes massive puzzle

County Public Defender Ray Smith, a US resident of Marietta, Ohio, has completed a massive puzzle with over 40,000 pieces, according to a non-satirical news source. "When Smith was working on the 32,000-piece puzzle, Judge Janet Dyar Welch asked if he’d be interested in displaying it in the municipal building. He told her that he would be working on a larger puzzle, as well, and she invited him to show it at the courthouse. Smith enjoys working on puzzles as a way to relieve stress. 'I have a very stressful job. And I’ve got a very analytical and mathematical mind, so it’s relaxing. I play music in the background,' he said." [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 6:31 AM PST - 73 comments

We don’t use that word in here.

The first official trailer for The Matrix Resurrections is out. [slyt]
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:09 AM PST - 185 comments

Read It and Weep

Margaret Atwood on the Intimidating, Haunting Intellect of Simone de Beauvoir and her untimely lost friend Zaza (NYT link). [more inside]
posted by hat_eater at 5:20 AM PST - 4 comments

The Museum of Bad Art

Art too bad to be ignored The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) has a mission: to bring the worst of art to the widest of audiences. Their three brick-and-mortar locations are shuttered due to the pandemic, but you can view the collection on the website. [more inside]
posted by bunderful at 5:07 AM PST - 26 comments

September 8

The hype and heartbreak of the Antarctic Snow Cruiser

The Antarctic Snow Cruiser was a wheeled vehicle unlike any before or since. Built for Byrd's third Antarctic expedition, it was hailed as a modern marvel by the American press in 1939. Conceived more like a ship than a truck, it was designed to support a crew of four in insulated comfort for months at a time, cross crevasses with ease, and deploy a biplane stowed on top for reconnaissance and rescue. It left a trail of local news stories in its wake as it trundled its way from Chicago to Boston to be loaded onto a ship bound for Antarctica. But as midwest blog Orangebean recounts, the trip did not go entirely as planned.
posted by automatronic at 11:32 PM PST - 37 comments

The channel's name checks out (Several LYT)

Another One Bites The Dust (ft. Pee-wee Herman). There I ruined it makes mashup videos. Also Bodies (Drowning Pool) - Kids' Edition [more inside]
posted by Gorgik at 7:12 PM PST - 3 comments

Frasier looking at videogames

I hope you like Frasier looking at video games, because all you'll find at this link is Frasier looking at video games.
posted by cortex at 11:59 AM PST - 15 comments

Blues Closure

So about that time Steve went off to college... [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 10:58 AM PST - 47 comments

"Mitigate, adapt or suffer"

Electricity is slowly being restored after Hurricane Ida, while areas as far north as New Jersey and New York continue major clean ups from the storm. What we can and should we do in communities that are likely to bear the most intense, repeated impacts of climate change? The NY Times offers an overview of the issues and approaches: "Climate Disaster Is the New Normal. Can We Save Ourselves?" along with a visual feature from the Oregon wildfires, "Wildfire Took These Families’ Homes. Here’s Why They Stay." There is currently no national plan for climate adaptation. What should one include?
posted by PhineasGage at 10:40 AM PST - 37 comments

The failings of an email address as a unique identifier

In short, I have become the center of an international network of Other Sara Morrisons who can’t get their email address right. Ever got someone else's private email?
posted by PussKillian at 9:47 AM PST - 167 comments

They like to move it move it... across Maryland

Zebras Spotted in Prince George's County “I thought it was a deer for a second and then I saw it was a zebra - a whole zebra right next to our playground right next to the fence. So, I ran upstairs to get a better look up there and then I said, 'Mom, there's, like, a zebra outside our playground' and she didn’t believe me and said I was crazy."
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:39 AM PST - 25 comments

Why CAPTCHA Pictures Are So Unbearably Depressing

The six reasons CAPTCHA pictures make you feel like crap. [SL Medium / Archive]
posted by ellieBOA at 9:33 AM PST - 51 comments

Like Throwing Digital Glass in a Blender, But Still Somehow Endearing

This Is Your Brain on 100 gecs (Pitchfork) 10000 gecs carries something of a new sound, a new look—not as internet-y, a tad more mature, but still undoubtedly them. They’re different people now. And the situation has changed. So what if fans don’t think it’s quite as bonkers as their debut—they’re putting in the effort to move forward as only they can, one frog ribbit at a time. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 8:39 AM PST - 10 comments

“They say, what they like; let them say it, I don't care...”

"New research into a little-known text written in ancient Greek shows that ‘stressed poetry’, the ancestor of all modern poetry and song, was already in use in the 2nd Century CE, 300 years earlier than previously thought." The full text paper in The Cambridge Classical Journal,
posted by Wordshore at 6:30 AM PST - 11 comments

8 levels of Bach

There are many "X levels of Y" videos, but I liked this short 8 levels of Bach video by 16 year old pianist Shutian Cheng, as he has a short description of what makes each level increasingly difficult. In addition to him being a skilled pianist, of course. (SLYT)
posted by Harald74 at 12:30 AM PST - 12 comments

September 7

Free(ing) Britney

Jamie Spears has filed a petition to end his daughter's conservatorship "If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance,” the filing said." [more inside]
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:52 PM PST - 32 comments

But! That is what happened, and so here we are.

Autostraddle reports: Also.Also.Also: Guardian Edits Out Judith Butler Accurately Labeling TERFs Fascists After Quote Goes Viral - which is referring to the new Judith Butler interview in The Guardian: ‘We need to rethink the category of woman’.
posted by cendawanita at 6:58 PM PST - 114 comments

Black Sci-Fi: Stories from the End of the World

A documentary on BBC Radio 4 presented by writer and abolitionist Walidah Imarisha on the power - and the rich history - of speculative, visionary fiction by black authors in the UK, USA and Africa, and how activism is a creative act of bringing new realities into being. In conversation with multidisciplinary artists Moor Mother and Rasheedah Philips, Nigerian-American writer Nnedi Okorafor, and British feminist writer and researcher Lola Olufemi. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 12:50 PM PST - 6 comments

All I crave is a good pub screed

The Spin Bin (YouTube playlist, episodes run about half an hour) is a media project from The Australia Institute that responds point-by-point to misleading climate-change-related media interviews with Australian politicians, filling in the background behind the talking points and calling out the straight-up lies.
posted by flabdablet at 12:16 PM PST - 3 comments

“the alchemy of total opposites”

Soprano Jóna G. Kolbrúnardóttir sings Jóhann Jóhannsson’s “Odi et Amo” from the album Englabörn, accompanied by the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. Usually when the piece is performed, the Latin poem by Catullus is sung by a computer and played off a tape.
posted by Kattullus at 11:54 AM PST - 13 comments

Porno Hustlers Of The Atari Age

While doing research for Video Dames, a video documentary series on female protagonists in video games, Kotaku writer Kate Willaert found an article that would lead her into a rabbit hole of excess and outrageousness - resulting in her creating a history of one of the most offensive video games to be made. (SLKotaku) [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:36 AM PST - 23 comments

He went to town in a hat that made all the people stare.

Lyrics to Bach's Well-tempered clavier, courtesy of 19th cent. English professor of music Ebenezer Prout.
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:18 AM PST - 7 comments

When Billie Eilish met Stormzy

The two artists, beacons of excellence in pop, come together to discuss failure, rejecting the role model label and Stormzy's favourite Billie track. [i-D]
posted by ellieBOA at 9:12 AM PST - 4 comments

Genetics and Environment or a Middle Path?

"The behavior geneticist Kathryn Paige Harden is waging a two-front campaign:on her left are those who assume that genes are irrelevant,on her right those who insist that they’re everything" from the New Yorker.
posted by ichimunki at 7:05 AM PST - 49 comments

“A cruise ship is not very good for people who want to be free.”

The disastrous voyage of Satoshi, the world’s first cryptocurrency cruise ship [more inside]
posted by the duck by the oboe at 2:47 AM PST - 174 comments

A game that was unbeatable for forty years just got an update

Forty years ago, Arctic Adventure was released for the TRS-80 with bugs that made it unwinnable. Now, the bugs have been fixed and you can play it in your browser.
posted by Kaatridge at 2:01 AM PST - 14 comments

September 6

Constructed Worlds, Group Beliefs and Narrative Consciousness

Three Simple Policy Heuristics - "The most important thing to understand is this: Harm ripples, kindness ripples. People you hurt go on to hurt other people. People who are treated with kindness become better people, or more prosperous people, and go on to help others. Yes, there are exceptions (we'll deal with those people), but they are exceptions." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:42 PM PST - 15 comments

We lost two great actors today

Jean-Paul Belmondo, best known for his role in the seminal French New Wave film Breathless, has died at age 88.
posted by praemunire at 9:21 PM PST - 21 comments

Gravity in Multiply Connected Space

Author Greg Egan has a new book out, and wrote up an explainer behind the math: "A space that is connected (in the sense that there is always a path between any two points), but not simply connected, is known as a multiply connected space, because there are multiple, fundamentally different ways to get from A to B. ... The purpose of this page is to discuss the way that Newtonian gravity can be adapted to a multiply connected space like this."
posted by curious nu at 7:13 PM PST - 26 comments

'How a $10k poker win changed how I think'

When amateur player Alex O'Brien unexpectedly won an online poker tournament, little did she know that she'd be pitted against one of the game's most controversial players. "Just what had I let myself in for? And who even was Dan Bilzerian?" Related: With a study completed in December 2016 and published in Science in March 2017, DeepStack became the first AI capable of beating professional poker players at heads-up no-limit Texas hold'em poker.
posted by geoff. at 6:54 PM PST - 15 comments

The Jewish folk song everyone in Japan knows

Noah Oskow discusses the complicated international history of the folk song Mayim Mayim. (SL Youtube)
posted by eotvos at 3:20 PM PST - 8 comments

best not miss

Michael K. Williams, star of 'The Wire' and 'Boardwalk Empire', dead at 54.
posted by fight or flight at 3:17 PM PST - 131 comments

"Using weird software to make weird and soft things"

Huw Messie makes animated embroidery: Consistent Survey, Tensioned Attaching, Rhythms of Winding the Patterns are Made, Discrete Converter, The Boxer, Your Plane. More on his process here.
posted by not_the_water at 2:40 PM PST - 6 comments

Dollar Store Chains Make Up Nearly One Third of All U.S. Store Openings

On the other hand, the report also noted that major U.S. retailers have announced 4,844 store closures so far in 2021, compared to 2,191 closures last year.
posted by folklore724 at 11:54 AM PST - 42 comments

"I did everything I could to show some beauty in a corner of Afganistan"

"Leaving my photo project behind was one of the hardest parts of fleeing. It was everything I worked on for over three years. And what will happen to those pictures? What will happen to the women in the pictures?"
Photographer Fatimah Hossaini spent three years trying to upend Western narratives about women in her country. She didn't get to finish her work: The Unseen Women of Afghanistan.
posted by youarenothere at 11:50 AM PST - 4 comments

three values: Open, Fair and Inclusive

The Guy Wants to Build a Utopian Megalopolis. The City of Telosa intends to be a brand new city, built from scratch in a yet-undetermined site of eventually 150,000 acres in the USA, probably somewhere in the southwest region. Telosa aims to be the most open, most fair, most inclusive, and most sustainable city in the world. [more inside]
posted by glonous keming at 11:28 AM PST - 73 comments

The Enduring Midwestern Mystery of Blue Moon Ice Cream

Native to the Midwestern United States and little known elsewhere, Blue Moon’s flavor dances on the tip of your tongue, taunting you into another guess, at turns familiar and elusive. It’s bright, mildly citrusy, and almost fruity, but not in a cloying way. It’s the aftertaste in particular that is, frankly, somewhat infuriating, a flavor layer that seems to say, “you know what this is,” but you don’t—and in fact, very few people do.
posted by ShooBoo at 10:16 AM PST - 48 comments

"This could actually happen in real life!"

A brief oral history of Idiocracy. [more inside]
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:43 AM PST - 61 comments

“places where Real Life unfolded”

Anthony Veasna So explored what it was like to grow up as a queer son of Khmer refugees in Stockton, California. Last year he died suddenly at the age of 28, just after correcting the proofs of his debut story collection, Afterparties. Four of the nine stories can be found unpaywalled online, The Monks, Superking Son Scores Again, The Shop and Three Women of Chuck’s Donuts. He also wrote essays, including Manchester Street, about being sent to Khmer language classes as a kid, and Baby Yeah, a heartbreaking account of his friend who committed suicide and their shared love of the band Pavement. Equally heartbreaking is the reminiscence by his boyfriend Alex Torres about their relationship.
posted by Kattullus at 5:27 AM PST - 11 comments

European civilisation is built on ham and cheese

Fun thread that touches on animal husbandry, hardback books, Phoenicia, alphabets, sea snails, underwear, religion, and glasses.
posted by kersplunk at 5:12 AM PST - 14 comments

pure old-fashioned math and science

In the process of producing his upcoming book Shift happens, Marcin Wichary (previously) discovers the power of inverse FFT as applied to halftone moiré. (via waxy; moiré previously.)
posted by progosk at 1:36 AM PST - 24 comments

September 5


Heartreasure 1 and Heartreasure 2: Underground are a pair of free, browser-playable (also mac/windows downloadable if that's your preference) where's waldo type games by nettaigyo.
posted by juv3nal at 10:56 PM PST - 7 comments

Rational difficulties

Why is it so hard to be rational? "In everyday life, the biggest obstacle to metacognition is what psychologists call the “illusion of fluency.” As we perform increasingly familiar tasks, we monitor our performance less rigorously; this happens when we drive, or fold laundry, and also when we think thoughts we’ve thought many times before. Studying for a test by reviewing your notes, Fleming writes, is a bad idea, because it’s the mental equivalent of driving a familiar route. “Experiments have repeatedly shown that testing ourselves—forcing ourselves to practice exam questions, or writing out what we know—is more effective,” he writes. The trick is to break the illusion of fluency, and to encourage an “awareness of ignorance.”" [more inside]
posted by storybored at 6:02 PM PST - 42 comments

How did these bots get in our memetic fabric (or why)?

This would be an Ask Metafilter question for how to deal with another new conspiracy meme, but we're all bots here endlessly mutating the memetic fabric. New to me is the idea that the banality of social media is evidence that we've all been replaced by AI: Dead Internet Theory.
posted by k3ninho at 3:18 PM PST - 75 comments

Fun with place name patterns

Peer into the Europe's past by looking at place names, for example to see the range of Roman conquest of Britain or the historical borders of Poland and Silesia.
posted by hat_eater at 7:47 AM PST - 33 comments

Little Simz: “It’s nice to see my peers win. When they win, I win”

Simbiatu Ajikawo’s (aka Little Simz) fourth album, ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’ , is a stunning, sprawling, ambitious ode to family – both the one you’re born into, and the one you choose. [NME]
posted by ellieBOA at 5:43 AM PST - 5 comments

September 4

Why We Can’t Shake Ambergris

From Hakai magazine: This is ambergris, one of the world’s unlikeliest commodities. The waxy substance formed in the gut of around one in 100 sperm whales is frequently described as vomit, but is almost certainly expelled from the other end of the animal... Despite its origins, ambergris, with its unique scent, fixative properties, and perceived ability to elevate other olfactory notes, has been prized by the perfume industry for hundreds of years. It has also been consumed as a delicacy and administered as medicine. At times, it has fetched prices more than twice that of gold. Today, it still changes hands for up to US $25 per gram
posted by ShooBoo at 3:17 PM PST - 50 comments

Clichés and platitudes

"A man can beat his wife with car antennas, can trade his children for drugs or motorcycles, but still, when he finally, mercifully dies, his survivors will have to hear from some know-nothing at the post-funeral dinner that he did his best." David Sedaris writes about grieving in his own way.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:12 PM PST - 66 comments

A case of the Palestinian blues

Recording under quarantine, a musical trio gives a classic blues song an Arabic twist, exploring new depths for Black-Palestinian solidarity. [+972 Magazine] For Kareem Samara, a British-Palestinian multi-instrumentalist, composer, and sound artist, it was naseeb — meant to be. One day in 2020, American-Palestinian filmmaker and music producer Sama’an Ashrawi messaged asking him to play “Baby, Please Don’t Go,” an American blues standard, on the oud. Ashrawi was curious what the blues would sound like in the quarter tones of the Middle Eastern instrument. Minutes later, Samara sent him a recording of the tune. “It’s a song I’ve always loved,” says Samara. “That song is in my bones.” [more inside]
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:25 PM PST - 8 comments

Survivor of "Elan School"'s Harrowing Tale is a harrowing webcomic now in 61 installments (the latest posted August 27) by a survivor of the "Elan School", a reform school in the woods of Poland Springs, Maine. The school, which operated from 1970 to 2011 when it was shut down, used cult methods, forcing kids to scream insults at each other hours a day, remain expressionless while being insulted, box each other in a ring, and confine others to sit in the corner. Communication with family was closely supervised to keep the abuse hidden. The webcomic may have started in late 2018 to judge from author "Joe Nobody"'s Patreon, but has been garnering attention on Reddit
posted by Schmucko at 8:45 AM PST - 70 comments

Locast, Nocast

Locast, frequently recommended on Metafilter, has suspended operations, following a U.S. Federal Court's ruling. Locast provided free access to local TV stations in 35 U.S. markets at the time of the ruling. [more inside]
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 7:35 AM PST - 37 comments

Forgetting my First Language

No one prepared me for the heartbreak of losing my first language. It doesn’t feel like the sudden, sharp pain of losing someone you love, but rather a dull ache that builds slowly until it becomes a part of you. My first language, Cantonese, is the only one I share with my parents, and, as it slips from my memory, I also lose my ability to communicate with them. When I tell people this, their eyes tend to grow wide with disbelief, as if it’s so absurd that I must be joking. “They can’t speak English?” they ask. “So how do you talk to your parents?” I never have a good answer.
posted by automatronic at 1:54 AM PST - 33 comments

September 3


Stephen Sondheim had not been on Broadway for nearly five years. Assassins had been an off-Broadway production, and so when Passion opened in 1994, after a very labored preview process (and still not widely lauded in reviews), it received a lot of attention. Nominated for 10 Tony awards, one of the four trophies it won was Best Musical, which after only running for 280 performances makes it the shortest-running show to win the top award. Here is the Original Broadway Cast's remarkable performance [1h55m] of this one-act, melodically intertwined musical involving lessons about love. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:04 PM PST - 9 comments

Happy 200th, Electric Motor

On 3 September 1821, Faraday observed the circular rotation of a wire as it was attracted and repelled by magnetic poles. In 1820, the Danish physicist Hans Christian Ørsted had noticed the peculiar behavior of a compass near a charged wire. Building on that work, Faraday, and many others, would turn electricity from a parlor trick to a core mechanism of our everyday world.
posted by nickggully at 12:57 PM PST - 25 comments


Writing for The New Yorker, Daniel A. Gross dives into “the surprisingly big business of library e-books”: (
[P]ublishers [mostly] do not sell their e-books or audiobooks to libraries—they sell digital distribution rights to third-party venders, such as OverDrive, and people like Steve Potash sell lending rights to libraries. These rights often have an expiration date, and they make library e-books “a lot more expensive, in general, than print books,” Michelle Jeske, who oversees Denver’s public-library system, told me.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:33 AM PST - 41 comments

The Wheel Of Time – Official Teaser Trailer

The first three episodes of The Wheel of Time premiere on Amazon Prime Video starting on Nov. 19, with new episodes dropping each Friday through the season finale on Dec. 24. [more inside]
posted by Pong74LS at 6:07 AM PST - 137 comments

September 2

Whatever Kind Of Mood You're In Tonight

On Strong Songs Kirk Hamilton, “takes listeners inside a piece of music, breaking it down and figuring out what makes it work.” In this episode Kirk tackles Billy Joel's magnum opus, “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” [more inside]
posted by ob1quixote at 6:31 PM PST - 49 comments

"We lose so many lives because of misinformation"

The negative effects of disinformation and misinformation around the globe have been clear and disturbing. In response, Stanford University's History Education Group has put together a free curriculum with lesson plans and assessments for teachers and professors. The Civic Online Reasoning curriculum is intended to teach students how to recognize misinformation and disinformation by employing techniques used by professional fact checkers. You have to register (free) to access the lesson plans and assessments, but the videos--hosted by YA author and Crash Course creator John Green--are also available as a YouTube playlist. The curriculum is based on peer-reviewed research and has been tested in real classrooms.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:52 PM PST - 94 comments

'A Loveable Anarchist': The Oral History of Mr Blobby

We chart the birth, death and unlikely resurrection of British TV's most unhinged chaos merchant. [slVice]
posted by ellieBOA at 1:48 PM PST - 38 comments

Esta tierra es de las dos, de indígenas y de marginales

Camila Moreno has a new album out: Rey. There's a great colab on it: Déjame (feat. Ximena Sariñana & Lido Pimienta) [more inside]
posted by signal at 12:45 PM PST - 1 comment

Capture and storage, sure. Of carbon? Not so much.

The Juice Media has made another Honest Government Ad for the Australien Government, this one explaining Carbon Capture and Storage (YouTube, 4m44s)
posted by flabdablet at 11:45 AM PST - 30 comments

A Swedish pop band releases some new material

ABBA, a band who have previously charted several times, will release a new album, Voyage, in November. Two tracks are available now: I Still Have Faith In You, and Don't Shut Me Down. There will also [knitwear] be a virtual concert next year. The quartet, comprising Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad (better known as Frida), Benny Andersson, and Björn Ulvaeus, won a singing contest in 1974.
posted by Wordshore at 11:45 AM PST - 65 comments

For Fiesole

something happened on that piazza and its various arteries in early August of 1944, which has haunted me from the moment I learned of it.
posted by bq at 11:31 AM PST - 2 comments

That GAN really tied the room together, man.

AI Movie Posters : Can you guess the movie from a Dali-esque image generated from a text description of the movie?
posted by kaibutsu at 9:19 AM PST - 59 comments

September 1

An interesting Chinese Art form: Inside Painted Snuff Bottle

An interesting Chinese art form I found While collecting artwork, particularly on Chinese antique and modern art, I found Chinese snuff bottles are my favorite. So want to share it with the members here. See if there is anyone who loves this small craft as well. The Chinese snuff bottle is a small and exquisite craft made during the Qing Dynasty. With a long history based on journals ICSBS, this craft comprises various oriental materials such as jade, glass, ceramic, enameled glass, etc. Of it, I was captivated by Inside Painted Snuff Bottle, a sub-field of snuff bottles. It said to be painted inside the bottles as I read in Wikipedia and an online inside painted snuff bottle journals, by D.D Art. Either are reliable resources for self interest . Hugh Moss has also published many journals and book. It is also highly valuable for learning. What do you think is the way of painting inside the bottle? The skill extended from traditional Chinese painting. Very novelty, right?
posted by David Brian at 8:17 PM PST - 16 comments

Long-Haulers Are Fighting for Their Future

Many people with long COVID feel that science is failing them. Neglecting them could make the pandemic even worse. Despite long-haulers’ fight for recognition, any discussion of the pandemic still largely revolves around two extremes—good health at one end, and hospitalization or death at the other. This ignores the hinterland of disability that lies in between, where millions of people are already stuck, and where many more may end up.
posted by curious nu at 5:26 PM PST - 38 comments

Let’s All Be Final Girls

The slasher story isn’t necessarily pleasant to process through, no, but the final girl is a model for us to follow. We should all fight so hard against injustice. At some point in our struggles, we should all turn around, face down our bullies, and then, like Nancy, turn our back on them. That's from Stephen Graham Jones who, promoting a new novel, revisits the "final girl" trope found in many slasher films and which has been explained, discussed, made into a movie, and into another movie, as well as providing the focus of another novel and even an LP. [Slasher film beanplating previously] [CW: slasher films and all they entail, theory, TV tropes]
posted by chavenet at 2:15 PM PST - 15 comments

What. It's 2009.

Community's Spanish 101 rap is interpreted by the annotators at Genius. That's all.
posted by mosst at 1:25 PM PST - 10 comments

Wingwalker to the rescue

Al, momentarily concerned by the dead motor, suddenly brightened. ‘Go on in and land her, Jerry. I’ll hold that wheel on with my foot.’ Santa Monica, 1926: Pilot F. Gerald Phillips takes off in a Curtiss biplane and realizes he’s missing a wheel on his landing gear.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:08 AM PST - 20 comments

No one will read your book (and other truths about publishing)

Books compete in a crowded market for a sliver of our attention. “One of the biggest ironies about this business is that there are lots of people who want to become authors, but that doesn’t necessarily equate with the number of people who are voracious readers,” says Rachel Deahl, news director at Publishers Weekly. “There is a disconnect. Not enough people read enough books.” [more inside]
posted by veggieboy at 9:26 AM PST - 125 comments

Short Lease in a Slick Machine

A personal essay by Kate Wagner of McMansion Hell: The apartment I’ve lived in this past year quite frankly and very succinctly encompasses everything I kind of hate about architecture, about design, about the ways people in the profession are expected to live their lives for the benefit and the consumption of others. [via]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:13 AM PST - 159 comments

The Kraken Busters

The Kraken Busters [via mefi projects] is a deep dive (apologies for the pun) into the US response to the sea monster threat post WW2. [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:41 AM PST - 11 comments