January 24, 2022

Current Anthropology

Rare African script offers clues to the evolution of writing - "In a study just published in Current Anthropology, a team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, showed that writing very quickly becomes 'compressed' for efficient reading and writing. To arrive at this insight they turned to a rare African writing system that has fascinated outsiders since the early 19th century."[1,2,3,4,5] [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 11:26 PM PST - 15 comments

What Goes Up...

Line Goes Up is a very long, highly detailed, and meticulously researched investigation into and polemical take-down of the NFT and crypto scene by Dan Olson. [more inside]
posted by motty at 6:31 PM PST - 113 comments

Bonds of Sentiment

Denton Welch -- restorer of immaculate doll houses, painter, writer -- wrote for only eight years before passing away in his thirties. And yet in his short life, which stretched from England to Shanghai, he found himself at the heart of a web of writers from Roald Dahl to William Burroughs, crafting an acutely observed, quasi-colonialist, literature of personal and emotional displacement that ties together a sub-canon of the subaltern, sexually complex, and aesthetically charged. A role model to John Waters and influence on Auden, Forster, and Sitwell, his melancholy and dyspeptic presence seems right to recommend for a winter's read.
posted by SandCounty at 2:50 PM PST - 10 comments

Winter cozy beaver lodge

Six minutes of trailcam inside and near a beaver lodge in Washington State. No background music or narration; background noises and explanatory text. No-one gets eaten. Furry beasts pass back and forth. [more inside]
posted by clew at 2:30 PM PST - 27 comments

It's alright I'm okay/It's alright It's okay

Treat yourself to almost forty minutes of exploring the raw tracks of the Bee Gee's 'Stayin Alive' and see how it is put together, courtesy of the Youtube channel Home Studio Simplified.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:20 PM PST - 32 comments

'There's just a disconnect': Maryland basketball

Maryland football has a ceiling on how strong fan interest can become, as the school has to compete with two passionate NFL fan bases in Washington and Baltimore. So I've been baffled by the school's decision to invest so heavily in a sport where they have to contend with heavyweights like Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan in their own division.
posted by 47WaysToLeaveYourLover at 12:59 PM PST - 11 comments

James Hong talks to Ben Mankiewicz

He's been seen on screen since 1950, starting with an appearance on Groucho Marx's 'You Bet Your Life' and at 92, is showing no signs of stopping now. The TCM host chatted with the actor with 445 credits on his IMDB page, for CBS Sunday Morning.
posted by Webbster at 12:28 PM PST - 19 comments

The Inky Depths #4: Slender Snipe Eel (Deep Sea Duck)

What in the wet wonder of the watery world? Wait - a sea duck?!? NO. This is no duck. (How many ducks do you know who have their anus on their throat?) Intriguing, no? Well then slither your slender snipe self into the ---> [more inside]
posted by tiny frying pan at 11:48 AM PST - 7 comments

Automation is different. It's different because it's automated.

"....[Github's] Copilot doesn't just limit itself to code. It also likes to insert itself into my writing. So, as an experiment, I decided to let Copilot write a post for me."
Software is a complex business. It's a lot like a food industry. You can make a lot of food, but you can't make a lot of food without a lot of people. Software is the exact opposite. You can make a lot of people, but you can't make a lot of people without a lot of software.
posted by jenkinsEar at 11:29 AM PST - 24 comments

Free Thread & Robin

It's a fourth Free Thread and this is the one that has Alicia Silverstone in it I guess? I really hadn't planned this whole thing around the Warner Brothers run of Batman movies but it just sort of happened. Anyway, no link, no topic, just come on in and chatter about stuff. Oh, and if you're newish or lurkerish on MetaFilter or just feeling friendly, you should also stop by the Introduce Yourself thread over on MetaTalk and give a wave. [more inside]
posted by cortex at 10:50 AM PST - 151 comments


It’s 1992, and you’re sitting in your school’s computer lab. In between assignments, you whisper to your friend, “Check this out.” In the C:\DOS directory, you run QBASIC.EXE, then load up GORILLA.BAS. Before long, you and a friend are two gorillas battling it out atop skyscrapers with exploding bananas.
posted by curious nu at 8:46 AM PST - 27 comments

The golden age of music is now.

Thought old music was killing new music? Bandcamp's Essential Releases of the 2021 - just one of their extensive Best Of 2021 lists - and Soundcloud's 2021 Playback are here to prove you wrong.
posted by mhoye at 8:40 AM PST - 27 comments

Pst! Mefites! What's your take on the job market?

The Labor market is in disarray. Is what we're hearing the same thing we're experiencing? You Quit. I Quit. We All Quit. And It’s Not a Coincidence. What is work like for those of us outside of the media maelstrom? [more inside]
posted by Violet Blue at 8:24 AM PST - 105 comments

Erik Visits A Thousand American Graves

As part of his postings on the blog Lawyers, Guns, and Money, labor historian Eric Loomis has a running series where he visits the graves of notable and infamous figures in American History. (Previously on the Blue.) Recently, he reached a major milestone, and thus the thousandth grave he visited was that of televangelist, "faith healer", and con man Oral Roberts. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:04 AM PST - 19 comments

"As far as I know, this is the first bicycle powered treehouse elevator"

It's all about just doing fun things — the kind of stuff you always dreamed about doing as a kid [...] a pretty significant part of my life is believing that you shouldn't stop doing that. SLYT — you may want to skip this if you have a fear of heights.
posted by wesleyac at 5:59 AM PST - 4 comments

The 2,000 Pound Bee has left the hive.

As one of the founding members of the Ventures and the composer of the original Hawaii Five-O theme, Don Wilson was a legend in the genre of surf guitar, in spite of never intending to be part of the subculture's scene. While at home, Wilson passed away at the age of 88.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:22 AM PST - 21 comments

Break Up With Beliefs

The question: What do I do when I know exactly what I want to do in life but the odds always seem to go against me? The suggestion: Our brains are masterful collectors. If you were to illustrate a map of our clever little minds, they might look like the interior of one of my favorite museums, the former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post (heiress to the Post Cereal fortune). […] Sometimes, I visualize my brain this way: various rooms each with a different purpose defined by fixation, and a collection of dusty, difficult-to-find objects to support that purpose. [From Out of the Blue, a newsletter by Mari Andrew, via]
posted by ellieBOA at 3:36 AM PST - 15 comments

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