February 13, 2017

European Tree of the Year

"The purpose of the European Tree of the Year is to highlight the significance of old trees in the natural and cultural heritage that deserves our care and protection. Unlike other contests, the European Tree of the Year doesn't focus on beauty, size or age but rather on the tree's story and its connection to people. We are looking for trees that have become a part of the wider community."
Get your votes in now for the 2017 European Tree of the year!
The current leader is The Brimmon Oak of Wales, a beloved tree that has been in a family for generations - although a fierce contender is an 800-year old Lime tree that guards a Czech village. Past winners include an Oak tree that lives in the middle of a football field in Estonia and an old Lime tree in Hungary which is said to protect the forest with its magic power.
posted by vacapinta at 11:38 PM PST - 17 comments

He's wishing he'd seen it now though.

The 10Foot6 East Street Bridge in Westwood, Massachusetts is a magnet for mayhem. Click here to find out what's burning. [more inside]
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:10 PM PST - 34 comments

Je suis Mia

Mia the beagle takes on the Westminster Agility course [more inside]
posted by jamaro at 9:44 PM PST - 28 comments

This stationery and design blog is Present & Correct.

The store Present & Correct has a "long-term obsession with stationery ... Paper and office objects which are inspired by homework, the post office and school." Their blog is a well-curated collection featuring delightful links to animation and film, graphics, packaging, edibles (previously), and much more. Nice Instagram, too.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:57 PM PST - 10 comments

#unitygames NJ 5th Graders Provide Hope that the Kids Will Be Alright

Fifth-grade Catholic youth team forfeits season rather than kick girls off For several years, a Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) basketball team in New Jersey had included a pair of girls. But recently the squad, now in the fifth grade, was presented with a difficult choice: Drop the girls, per the archdiocese’s rules, or forfeit the season. The team’s decision was unanimous. It was also courageous and inspiring. [more inside]
posted by pjsky at 6:55 PM PST - 33 comments

The Preacher and the Sheriff

Many of the beatings took place in the prison’s chapel — not because the officers had accepted God into their lives but, the indictment claimed, because the chapel was one of the few places in the prison without surveillance cameras.
A story about racism and police brutality in a good-ol-boy Louisiana Parish, a "Houdini suicide" in the back of a squad car, and one father's search for justice.
posted by AceRock at 2:03 PM PST - 9 comments


At last night's Grammy Awards, Laverne Cox's introduction of Lady Gaga was preceded by an apparently unscripted exhortation to google Gavin Grimm, the 17 year old whose case is going to SCOTUS next month. Represented by the ACLU, Gavin's case involves whether or not trans children should be allowed to use the bathroom and locker room facilities that correspond to their gender identity. Gavin responds to Laverne's shoutout [autoplaying video]. In related news (but a different case), "The Trump administration has elected not to contest a Texas federal judge’s injunction barring the federal government from implementing Obama administration guidelines that protect transgender kids in schools." [more inside]
posted by AFABulous at 12:42 PM PST - 44 comments

To the quick!

The first nail clippers weren't patented until the late 19th century, so how did people trim their nails before that? Nail care was important in many ancient cultures. In the Iron Age, nail files were a critical feature of the Viking grooming toolkit, important because the Gods would sail on a ship made of dead men's nails to Ragnarok. There was also a lot of attention paid to nail care in ancient Egypt, Rome Greece, and China (take a look at this Egyptian spa painting). Elaborate nail customs persist, including very specific Jewish traditions about the order in which nails are cut, and in traditional nursery rhymes. Whatever you do, apparently you shouldn't bite or pick them.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:15 PM PST - 41 comments

Revenge of the Lunch Lady

How an unassuming bureaucrat outsmarted Jamie Oliver and pulled off an honest-to-god miracle in one of America's unhealthiest cities. One West Virginia turns her school lunch program around; plus a brief history of school lunches in America featuring the National Frozen Pizza Institute.
posted by Hypatia at 11:06 AM PST - 72 comments

An Interview with Substantia Jones

Bold Nude Photos Celebrate The ‘Fat Love’ Affairs That Go Unnoticed (NSFW) “There’s this curious misconception that fat people don’t experience love, sex and romance,” Jones explained in an email to The Huffington Post. “Or perhaps that they aren’t worthy of having satisfying relationships.” [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 10:54 AM PST - 30 comments

Justin Cyr's pixel art

Justin Cyr makes pixel art, and has done a number of 32x32 portrait studies using the 16 color MSX palette. Here's 16 portraits. Wait, here's a timelapse of 16 portraits. Hold on, geez, here's 500 portraits. No, wait, shit, here's over a thousand. Also, hey, an animated 8-bit kraken.
posted by cortex at 9:23 AM PST - 7 comments

Where on earth has your Member of Congress gone?

In the past three months, the newly energized American left has been taking the advice to contact their local members of Congress with great gusto. Between phone campaigns that tie up phone lines and fill up voicemails, postcard campaigns, and most recently several Republican members of Congress who are outright refusing to hold town hall or public meetings, many angry constituents are meeting with a slightly unexpected problem. Elected officials who bravely claim to the media that the angry callers are paid provocateurs appear to have decided that actually facing local crowds is too intimidating. Consequently, the Indivisible Guide (previously) has published a helpful guide on what to do if your members of Congress appear to have gone into hiding rather than meet with you.
posted by sciatrix at 8:37 AM PST - 93 comments

Allahu Akbar

The Meaning of Allahu Akbar, by Mehreen Kasana. "While sauntering through the woods during her daily walks in Virginia, my mother recorded a video of a deer with her youngling. They seemed calm looking at mama and continued enjoying the verdant surroundings. A few seconds into the video, you can hear my mother whisper 'Allahu Akbar' with love."
posted by Greg Nog at 7:59 AM PST - 38 comments

Big River

This past week, City Center Encores! mounted a production of the 1985 Broadway musical Big River, a musicalized version of Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which most recently enjoyed a revival in 2003, mounted by DeafWest . The New York Times review prompted Artistic Director Jack Viertel to pen this response. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:00 AM PST - 14 comments

Feel free to pet the lion! It is soft and fluffy

The Beginner's Guide to Chinese Lion Dance tumblr user irenydraws draws a quick primer to what the lion dance is all about. And if you'd like to see one in action, here's the winning troupe of the 2016 Genting World Lion Dance Championship, the Kun Sek Keng Lion and Dragon Dance Association. They were also the stars of this video about the artform. Perhaps it's not a surprise to see Malaysians dominate the competition circuit, they did invent the acrobatic pole dancing (#5) that is now practically synonymous with the art. [Previously] [more inside]
posted by cendawanita at 6:56 AM PST - 13 comments

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