March 6, 2009

Horses Were Tamed, Milked, and Probably Ridden 5,500 Years Ago

Riding with the first cowboys – in 3500 BC. Horses were tamed a millennium earlier than previously thought. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:44 PM PST - 14 comments


The Quilt Index is a growing research and reference tool designed to share access to information and images about quilts provided by an array of contributors. You may search by category including time period, style and technique, location, or fabric.
posted by netbros at 10:19 PM PST - 11 comments

Ayn Rand Made Her Do It

Whoopi Doesn't Want To Be Overtaxed. Is she Going Galt?
posted by Xurando at 7:40 PM PST - 112 comments

Been in trouble with the law since the day he was born

Remember the guy who escaped a prison transport, led police on a five state chase across the south, stole a Wal-Mart truck to get to his dying mama, and then took off in Crystal Gale's tour bus before being apprehended in Florida? He's at it again.
posted by Roman Graves at 4:49 PM PST - 57 comments

Butthole Surfers were one hell of a live band

Mickey Ween: A security guard came onstage and Gibby threw the alcohol on him. The dude just started backing away, it was clear that Gibby probably would set him on fire. And now, knowing Gibby like I do, it was definitely within the realm of possibility.
Mark Pesetsky: And Gibby just gave me that psycho look with the Charles Manson eyes. He grabs a bottle of the rubbing alcohol and throws it on me and then starts walking towards me with a lighter. And John, the other bouncer, just jumps offstage. It was every man for himself at that point.
Gibby Haynes: Oh yeah, I do remember that. I mean, I've lit kids' heads on fire and they were smiling!
An Oral History of May 3, 1987: The Day The Butthole Surfers Came to Trenton, New Jersey. Butthole Surfers interviewed in bed, parts 1 and 2, playing The Scott & Gary Show on their first run through New York, parts 1 and 2, playing live in 1985 [low quality], live footage from the 80s. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 3:10 PM PST - 51 comments

Ötzi the Iceman

Ötzi the Iceman. Up close and personal.Really close.
posted by merelyglib at 3:01 PM PST - 25 comments

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29. At Harvard Stadium on November 23, 1968, the Yale and Harvard football teams met in their annual The Game, with both teams going into the game undefeated for the first time since 1909. Heavily-favored Yale was ranked #16 and was on a 16-game winning streak. Yale was leading 29-13 with 3:34 to play and had the ball. What could possibly go wrong? [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 2:51 PM PST - 15 comments

Did that star just blink?

Tonight NASA is scheduled to launch the Kepler Mission (named after planetary legislator Johannes Kepler) with the goal of finding Earth size planets in orbit around stars in the Cygnus-Lyra region of the sky. Over the next 3 and a half years it will maintain a nearly unblinking gaze on the approximately 100 thousand stars in the region. NASA expects it to find about 50 Earth size planets, as well as hundreds that are larger. You can watch the launch live on NASA TV. [more inside]
posted by borkencode at 2:32 PM PST - 42 comments

It's Augment Your Reality Friday!

Hangin' with Mr. Cooper. Robert Cooper, creative director at 360° Digital Influence Ogilvy PR demonstrates GE’s Smart Grid Augmented Reality campaign "which consists of a website, a piece of paper, and blowing your mind all over your keyboard. (via The Daily What and Andrew Sullivan)
posted by ericb at 1:59 PM PST - 37 comments

Where did Cars come from, daddy?

DadHacker (previously on Mefi) ponders how the world of Pixar's Cars came about: "They turned on us, and were very thorough." Jake Parker asks a more biomechanical question and sketches the nightmarish result: "Where does the flesh end and the machine begin?"
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:41 PM PST - 42 comments


A thing called love.
posted by vronsky at 1:24 PM PST - 18 comments

Is There Nothing Lobbyists Can't Do?

FDA says your company's medical device isn't safe to market? No problem. Just hire a lobbyist. Afraid of being sued? Don't worry. The Supreme Court says you are immune.
posted by expriest at 12:33 PM PST - 40 comments

Queens of Noise

Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Sandy West, and Jackie Fox are The Runaways. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 11:37 AM PST - 39 comments

"More Right" was too political

Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to "the art" of rationality. It revolves around discussion of short essays. Less Wrong is a project of Oxford's Future of Humanity Institute and a companion site to Overcoming Bias (previously; how to read). [more inside]
posted by grobstein at 10:54 AM PST - 36 comments

Another Gatsby?

Certain clues seem to indicate that we may be facing a second depression. But what would another Depression mean in literary terms? Would it produce a second 'Gatsby'? While circumstances might be different this time around, perhaps it's worth revisiting some of the experiences of some who lived and wrote through the first Great Depression.
posted by teamparka at 10:54 AM PST - 36 comments

Barbie's midlife crisis

While US sales declined steadily in recent years, worldwide Barbie sales have been on the rise. So what better way to celebrate Barbie's 50th birthday and increase worldwide sales than by giving her her very own flagship store in Shanghai [Flash, sound]. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 10:43 AM PST - 20 comments

Can Vegetarians Still Eat the Rich?

Newsweek discusses Obama's "War on the Rich," a timely story, considering Bloomberg's recent christening of the "Obama Bear Market." And on a tangential note, TPM points out that those bankruptcy law reforms enacted under the Bush administration specifically included new provisions aggressively lobbied for by the "International Swaps and Derivatives Association," which were designed to protect the derivatives and swap industries. Yet another example of good timing. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 10:42 AM PST - 58 comments

Perpetuating the Problem?

Is the Obama administration, in its handling of the ongoing banking crisis, dithering while Rome burns? Is it perpetuating the problem by encouraging private investors to finance its rescue plan? (quote: Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, has been welcomed by a range of hedge funds and private-equity firms as well as some lenders who issue assets that finance consumer loans.) While hedge funds and others are preparing to make money on the downturn, we still don't have a handle on where all the AIG money is going (and forget that four years ago, AIG was being outed as the new Enron), and despite calls for more transparency in the "bailout" process, the Fed has not been forthcoming in revealing how the money is being spent.
posted by ornate insect at 10:39 AM PST - 56 comments

Please bring either an umbrella or a frozen spatchcock and some toothpicks.

Hi! I'd like you to meet Craig. He has a time machine and his grandmother's a bit deaf, so you'll have to speak up.
posted by goo at 10:34 AM PST - 38 comments

What Mary Ann Learned on the Island

Mary Ann, rescued from the Island, retires to Idaho and shills for the Idaho Potato Board. As no one thought to grab the potato peeler from the Minnow's galley, she learned to do without. [SLYT]. Oh, she still has the hots for the Professor's spud. (0:55)
posted by webhund at 10:25 AM PST - 32 comments

The McGangBang is even more obcene than you might expect. (SFW)

The McGangBang is even more obscene than you might expect. (SFW)
posted by erikvan at 9:07 AM PST - 118 comments

From Frisbie Pi to Pluto Platter

In 1897, the Indiana House of Representatives passed a bill mandating that the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle (pi) was 3.2. Now, 112 years later, their neighbors in the Illinois Senate have passed a resolution redefining Pluto as a planet, at least when it passes through the Illinois night sky. Of course, Pluto may not even travel through the Illinois night sky for some time.
posted by grouse at 7:50 AM PST - 59 comments

Your death is his bonus

The diagnosis was only the first shock. The second came a few weeks later, in an Aug. 5 letter from Pat's health-insurance company. For six years — since losing the last job he had that provided medical coverage — Pat had been faithfully paying premiums to Assurant Health, buying a series of six-month medical policies, one after the other, always hoping he would soon find a job that would include health coverage. Until that happened, "unexpected illnesses and accidents happen every day, and the resulting medical bills can be disastrous," Assurant's website warned. "Safeguard your financial future with Short Term Medical temporary insurance. It provides the peace of mind and health care access you need at a price you can afford." [But] diagnosing and treating an illness may not fall neatly into six-month increments. While Pat had been continuously covered since 2002 by the same company, Assurant Health, each successive policy treated him as a brand-new customer. In looking back over Pat's medical records, the company noticed test results from December, eight months earlier. Though Pat's doctors didn't determine the precise cause of the problem until the following July, his kidney disease was nonetheless judged a "pre-existing condition" — meaning his insurance wouldn't cover it, since he was now under a different six-month policy from the one he had when he got those first tests..... I tried to talk to Assurant for this story. Its only response was a written statement from Scott Krienke, senior vice president for product lines: "Due to privacy regulations, we cannot discuss the specifics of any of our customers' coverage."
posted by orthogonality at 7:43 AM PST - 244 comments

Brooklyn Revealed

Brooklyn Revealed
posted by Miko at 7:29 AM PST - 21 comments

Rumpy Pumpy

You can sleep better at night knowing that one more Irish GP has sworn off using the medical terms "willy bits" and "rumpy pumpy" with patients. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 6:46 AM PST - 33 comments

So here's my trip to Chernobyl in pictures.

So here's my trip to Chernobyl in pictures.
posted by milquetoast at 6:44 AM PST - 50 comments

Scanwiches is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their sandwiches wedged into their scanners, or why.
posted by flashboy at 6:09 AM PST - 70 comments

Photographs of polar explorations 1845-1960

Freeze Frame a new collection of over 20,000 photographs of British and international polar explorations from 1845-1960, from the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge. [more inside]
posted by Lanark at 5:52 AM PST - 12 comments

To everything there is a season and this is true of Economics

Everybody knows the economy and thus the markets move in cycles. Economic expansion naturally leads to contraction, driven by credit and business cycles. But are economic booms followed by busts inevitable? [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 5:27 AM PST - 32 comments

Barbie Dolphin

Albino Dolphins are pink.
posted by - at 3:39 AM PST - 29 comments

Straight out of Surrey

There's really no need for all that swearing, Mr Ice Cube. While Adam Buxton has already revised one of NWA's finest in Help The Police, it has been soundly trumped by Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, who is about to deliver the extent of his street cricket knowledge.
posted by rhodri at 12:29 AM PST - 25 comments

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