January 14, 2020

dropbear safety equipment is full on

While covering the catastrophic bushfires at Kangaroo Island, Scottish journalist Debi Edward was given the chance to hold some local fauna: specifically, a ferocious drop bear. [more inside]
posted by freethefeet at 9:22 PM PST - 33 comments

"Alexa, did Fluffy just drop a dookie?"

LuluPet’s is not the first smart cat litter box, and not even the only one at this year’s CES. But while the majority of smart litter boxes focus on automatic cleanup of the cat’s deposits and the resulting odor, LuluPet’s device is aimed at helping improve the cat’s overall health. It has a built-in camera (apparently you can watch live via its connected smartphone app), as well as infrared and weight sensors to determine whether the cat did number one or number two. The images from the event are compared with images of other cats’ excrement in LuluPet’s database to make sure all is normal. Yes, I just wrote that sentence. (Kim Lyons, The Verge)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:13 PM PST - 33 comments

The Best of the Web

This is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:08 PM PST - 60 comments

A totally new artistic space was opened up

The Art of Book Covers (1820–1914)
posted by Chrysostom at 2:10 PM PST - 7 comments

“I do wonder if they really understand Korea,”

How An Overwatch Skin Left Some Of D.Va's Biggest Fans Feeling Betrayed [Kotaku]
“Criticisms of D.va’s skins as well as those from other characters since Overwatch’s 2016 launch represent the friction that the game has between its fans and the cultures from which they borrow. Overwatch presents the fantasy of a global village from an overwhelmingly white and Western vantage point, full of stereotypes, jokes, and reductions. For much of the Western fanbase and perhaps to the developers themselves, a skin might seem innocuous. But the Overwatch team has routinely made poor choices with their cosmetics that range from atonal (Brigitte’s riot police skin) to straight up offensive Pharah skin that is a mish-mash of tribal designs. D.Va’s skins, which have alienated some of that character’s biggest fans, add to that pile of problems.”
Nico Deyo examines the ways in which Blizzard has undermined one of its most resonating characters. ['Academy D. Va Skin' Announcement] [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:13 PM PST - 9 comments

From context collapse to content collapse

First, by leveling everything, social media also trivializes everything — freed of barriers, information, like water, pools at the lowest possible level. A presidential candidate’s policy announcement is given equal weight to a snapshot of your niece’s hamster and a video of the latest Kardashian contouring. Second, as all information consolidates on social media, we respond to it using the same small set of tools the platforms provide for us. Our responses become homogenized, too.
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:21 PM PST - 42 comments

a bridge bolstered by Community and Justice, and also a yogurt truck

From the depths of a roiling Sea of Division rises the purple octopus of Intolerance and the sea-dragon of Bigotry, swimming headlong into a sailing ship of Accomplishment, which is also being engulfed by crashing Squalls of Hate, upon which a squid of Government Incompetence surfs. Looking down upon this chaotic parable, just above a rainbow—sorry, above The Arc of the Moral Universe—is Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State. He is smiling as if to say, “I feverishly drew this at my dining room table at 1 a.m.”
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:13 AM PST - 19 comments

Translating a Person

Whom do we become when we inhabit another language? Discussed: The Gringo, Alimentation, A Couple of Brads, Spanish-from-Spain Translations, Operating with the Words One Has, Wickerby, An Infinite Series of Texts, An Arduous Game of Literacy, This Little Art, My English, The Most Interesting Person on the Planet [more inside]
posted by prewar lemonade at 10:48 AM PST - 5 comments

Brain / Salad Misery

A short comic about salads, ennui, meal prepping, time, landfills, and more.
posted by bbqturtle at 10:17 AM PST - 27 comments

And Jerry Mathers as . . . oh wait, no, never mind

Supercut of every guest star on the 1970s TV series Cannon, ever. James Olson, Burr deBenning, Lee Purcell, Clu Gulager, Louise Latham, Anne Francis, Val Avery, James Hong, and more! So many worried/ suspicious/angry/alarmed/searching/ perplexed/concerned faces, except Leslie Nielsen, who clearly was destined for a comedy career. [more inside]
posted by holborne at 9:31 AM PST - 82 comments

Who Killed the Knapp Family?

They were bright, rambunctious, upwardly mobile youngsters whose father had a good job installing pipes. Today, only one of the Knapp siblings is still alive. [more inside]
posted by sobell at 9:14 AM PST - 31 comments

"We are living in the middle of a fascist takeover"

Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat is a an expert on fascism, authoritarianism, war & propaganda. In a 20 minute podcast hosted by Chauncey DeVega (starts at 0:30), she posits that a fascist, authoritarian takeover is not a future event we should worry about, but an actual process we are living through right now, and that if Trump wins again, America will be ‘ready for full-on authoritarian rule’.
Ben-Ghiat warns that societies often succumb to authoritarianism and fascism not in one dramatic moment, but gradually over time. “Only in a military coup do you really have an instant change. A person leaves the house in the morning and five hours later they are living in a dictatorship and there is mass violence. But otherwise, even Mussolini and Hitler took years to get into power.”
Read on Salon.
Ruth Ben-Ghiat previously on M-F [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 8:40 AM PST - 84 comments

Photos of the Great Migration

Librarians at the Library of Congress have created a new guide to finding photos of the Great Migration* contained in their extensive collection. Here’s a blog post announcing the guide.
via kottke.org [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 8:05 AM PST - 2 comments

A Library Plundered of Treasures

One by one, rare books vanished from the library — the Journal of George Washington; a copy of Isaac Newton’s “Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica” valued at nearly a million dollars; an Atlas by a 19th century German explorer worth $1.2 million. Over a quarter of a century, these printed treasures and hundreds of others were stolen from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Library. And some of them were heading just around the corner. (SL Washington Post) [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 7:39 AM PST - 15 comments

Perhaps the World Ends Here

Climate disaster at Wounded Knee [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 3:55 AM PST - 3 comments

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