March 14, 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria, describing Russia's objectives as "generally accomplished". [more inside]
The Sneaky Life of the World’s Most Mysterious Plant "It looks so ordinary, this vine. But it’s not. It is, arguably, the most mysteriously talented, most surprising plant in the world."
When our robot servants revolt, do we really want them to be a swarm of internet enabled roaches? [more inside]
Jane Mayer takes on the Koch Brothers [1,2,3] - "For decades, billionaire libertarians Charles and David Koch have spent millions trying to reduce the size of government and slash regulations, making the brothers a target of the political Left and campaign finance reformers. But few people have dug deeper into the Koch empire and family history than New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer, author of the new book 'Dark Money'. Among other revelations, she alleges that the brothers hired private detectives to investigate her after she published articles critical of them. We talk to Mayer about the book and about what the rise of Donald Trump means for the Kochs and their allies." (previously)
Last year, it was 120 years since the Lumière brothers [previously: 1, 2] filmed workers leaving their factory. Here are various tributes to cinema. [more inside]
FESTIMA a festival of African masks recently held in Dédougou, Burkina Faso. Some pbase galleries and a night mask video from a few years back.
Skating Polly have released a video for Pretective Boy, from their upcoming album The Big Fit. It's quite lovely. [more inside]
One of the great composers of our time, Peter Maxwell Davies, has died. Some of his best known works include 8 Songs for a Mad King, Kommilitonen!, and 10 fantastic symphonies. The great anti-establishment composer was perhaps most well known, however, for a 2005 incident regarding eating swans that fell on his island home. Rest in peace, Max! [more inside]
NBC's upcoming Xena: Warrior Princess reboot will skip all of the homoerotic innuendo this time, but not for the reason you expect. This time around, Xena will simply be openly gay.
Are You Orgasming Without Even Knowing It? I was determined to lose my sex-in-a-brain-scanner virginity.
Like princesses from a fairy tale, the Broderers of St Paul’s sit high up in a tower at the great cathedral stitching magnificent creations in their secret garret. [more inside]
Some babies are just easier than others. (SL New York Times Well blog)
Winner of a top prize at the 2015 New York Hack-A-Thon, TrollBusters "provides just-in-time rescue services to support women journalists, bloggers and publishers who are targets of cyberharassment. We use our virtual S.O.S. team to send positive memes, endorsements and testimonials into online feeds at the point of attack. We dilute the stings of cyberbullies, trolls and other online pests to support you, your voice, your website, your business and your reputation." Recently, GamerGate [previously on MeFi] has magnified the sense of urgency behind anti-troll strategies for women. [more inside]
A deep dive into the FBI's bizarre anti-extremism browser game: Don’t Be a Puppet: Pull Back the Curtain on Violent Extremism [more inside]
There’s a dirty secret tucked away in Thomas Pynchon’s novels, and it’s this: beyond all the postmodernism and paranoia, the anarchism and socialism, the investigations into global power, the forays into labor politics and feminism and critical race theory, the rocket science, the fourth-dimensional mathematics, the philatelic conspiracies, the ’60s radicalism and everything else that has spawned 70 or 80 monographs, probably twice as many dissertations, and hundreds if not thousands of scholarly essays, his novels are full of cheesy love stories. [SLTM]
I have sat on Tuscan-brown sofas surrounded by Tuscan-yellow walls, lounged on Tuscan patios made with Tuscan pavers, surrounded by Tuscan landscaping. I have stood barefoot on Tuscan bathroom tiles, washing my hands under Tuscan faucets after having used Tuscan toilets. I have eaten, sometimes on Tuscan dinnerware, a Tuscan Chicken on Ciabatta from Wendy’s, a Tuscan Chicken Melt from Subway, the $6.99 Tuscan Duo at Olive Garden, and Tuscan Hummus from California Pizza Kitchen. Recently, I watched my friend fill his dog’s bowl with Beneful Tuscan Style Medley dog food. This barely merited a raised eyebrow; I’d already been guilty of feeding my cat Fancy Feast’s White Meat Chicken Tuscany. Why deprive our pets of the pleasures of Tuscan living?
Meet copperhead, a new, weird spaceship that was recently discovered by enthusiasts of Conway's Life.
Ricardo Larrivée is slowly but surely building his empire outside Quebec. You can access his magazine here in English or in its original French. His Food Network Canada show and also his Radio-Canada show aussi.
Five Years Later, Cutting Through the Fukushima Myths by Andrew Karam [Popular Mechanics] Radiation expert Andrew Karam, who covered the disaster for Popular Mechanics in 2011 and later traveled to study the site, explains everything you need to know about Fukushima's legacy and danger five years later. [more inside]
Happy π Day! And do you know what that means? Math puns today! Every day! In competitions, even. Don't like puns? Try other forms of math humor (or over-explain them to businesspeople)!
Prop Reuse in the Star Trek Universe I can upcycle this mad computer as a cloaking device! Just put a bird (of prey) on it!
Prime numbers, it seems, have decided preferences about the final digits of the primes that immediately follow them.