March 18, 2019

A Rally of Librarians Who Are Nonetheless Human and Other Bibliohumor

It's 1906, and the librarians are bored, bored, bored by the American Library Association's Narragansett Pier (R.I.) Conference. So a few of them they sneak off and decide to found a small, subversive club of their own: The Bibliosmiles, "'Librarians Who Are Nevertheless Human' dedicated to 'keeping the dust off our top shelves,'" through comic song and speech, in the belief that "libraries could be a vital and innovative part of progressive change." Though short-lived, the group nonetheless had a long-lasting influence on library humor. Say the magic password—"Cheer Up, ALA"—and win a tour through semi-imaginary institutions, the umbrella problem, and an archive devoted to humor by and for librarians. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:25 PM PST - 6 comments

The Black Godfather has passed.

Andre Williams, R&B singer, songwriter, and producer, has died at the age of 82 on March 17. Originally known for a string of often raunchy hits on various Detroit labels in the 1950's and 60's, his career was derailed in the 70's and 80's thanks to addiction. By the 90's he had cleaned up and gotten a second wind with the assistance of a variety of younger "garage rock" bands, leading to a series of albums and tours with artists as varied as The Sadies, The Dirtbombs, and Green Hornet. Blog review of a live show in Cleveland, 2010. [more inside]
posted by soundguy99 at 7:21 PM PST - 8 comments

Queering Shakespeare

the simplest explanation, the one that best obeys the principle of Occam’s razor, is that both Shakespeare and the Fair Youth were gay or bi, against the backdrop of a fluidly sexual society where such distinctions made less difference than they do today.
posted by latkes at 5:04 PM PST - 6 comments

But he himself was broken / Long before the sky would open

Two weekends ago, people waited in line to stand over a hole cut in the ice of Michigan's Little Traverse Bay to view a submerged 1,800-pound marble crucifix. It was placed there in 1962, at a depth of 22 feet, to serve as a memorial to deceased divers and others who have lost their lives in maritime accidents. Poor weather has precluded viewings in recent years. The weather cooperated this year, and people couldn't help but notice that Jesus' arm was missing. Come spring thaw, a search for the wayward appendage is planned. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:08 PM PST - 27 comments

Meetings: not a place to make decisions in.

(Twitter thread by @netmanchris) “This is crazy. Study shows three people in a conference room over 2 hours can result in a Co2 level that can impair cognitive functioning ... If you’re making decisions at the end of the meeting, you’re mentally less qualified to do so.” The 2015 Harvard study (PDF) and 2016 discussion. @SamRNolen: “Love to advance my career by bringing an oxygen tank to meetings and taking a ear-shattering hit from it as soon as anyone starts talking.” @rogerlipscombe: “I always assumed it was the fumes from the whiteboard markers, to be honest.”
posted by Wordshore at 3:02 PM PST - 53 comments

I Hold the Door Open For Strangers (IN PUBLIC, ALMOST CAUGHT!)

Ryan Creamer (real name) is a rising star on Pornhub with nearly 4 million views--but his videos are fully clothed and safe for work, even if the banner ads around them aren't. After noticing the website's "Work for Us" option, the writer and comedian began posting short videos with names like "POV FOREHEAD KISS COMPILATION" and "I Hug You and Say I Had a Really Good Time Tonight and Then I Go." In an interview with Buzzfeed News (article SFW, links within article very NSFW) Creamer says: "It can come across like I’m making fun of sex workers, but everyone who is in this industry has been so, so nice. That’s made me feel really good." [more inside]
posted by duffell at 2:37 PM PST - 27 comments


Why are Pyrex dishes exploding in the oven?
posted by Chrysostom at 1:58 PM PST - 109 comments

The Peeple's Choice Award

The Open Notebook is hosting a science-themed Peeps diorama contest. Tableaus include Peepola Tesla, the Peepiodic Table of the Elements, and Grace Hopper, Compeeper Scientist. Voting is open through March 26, and the gallery of entries is here. Not to be confused with the now-discontinued Washington Post Peeps diorama contest, previously on MetaFilter.
posted by terooot at 1:13 PM PST - 8 comments

You know he was, he really was...

Ahead of the documentary film Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story, the BBC are getting inside the head of the man who was Frank Sidebottom. Also if you are near Manchester there's an exhibition about Frank Sidebottom/Chris Sievey at the Central Library on now. Thank you.
posted by Webbster at 12:21 PM PST - 12 comments

Some comfortable others poor

The Maps Descriptive of London Poverty are perhaps the most distinctive product of Charles Booth's Inquiry into Life and Labour in London (1886-1903). An early example of social cartography, each street is coloured to indicate the income and social class of its inhabitants.
[more inside]
posted by goblin-bee at 12:06 PM PST - 5 comments


Dom Krapski writes about ( his encounter with the disintegrating corpse (image) of Rosie, a large great white shark (image) currently sitting in a murky vat (image) of formaldehyde in an abandoned wildlife park in Australia. Photos by Garry Moore.
posted by not_the_water at 11:38 AM PST - 19 comments

The art of Sarah Stone, early British illustrator of Australian wildlife

Sarah Smith, née Stone, was an English natural history illustrator and painter (Wikipedia; Design and Art Australia Online), who started turning dead specimens into "living" illustrations when she was not yet 20, was largely self-taught in her draughtsmanship technique. At only twenty-one, she was invited to exhibit four of her paintings at the Royal Academy, closed to women at the time. Australians would recognise her art from her illustrations in John White's Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales (, published in 1790. This journal is one of the 5 first fleet accounts of the new colony. And in the first half of the 1790s, her drawings were featured with other artists and published in the monograph Museum Leverianum ( [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:57 AM PST - 2 comments

Help for Music Beginners

Musicards is a collection of music theory flash cards for the beginner and intermediate music student. Learn note names, chords, key signatures at your own pace.
posted by storybored at 10:12 AM PST - 4 comments

Curious Architectural Phenomena

Gregor Sailer is an Austrian photographer. His projects include Closed Cities, effectively invisible, artificially created urban agglomerations that are hermetically sealed off from the eyes of the world either by walls or by their hostile surroundings; The Potemkin Village, haunting images of fake towns; and The Box, an exploration of small scale secret Soviet facilities such as design bureaux for weapons, aircraft, space and military electronics.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:54 AM PST - 8 comments

Brands Are Not Your Friends

H.Bomberguy (of Mermaids charity fame) discusses brand twitter, advertising, ‘realmericals’, and harnessing performative political outrage for profit in WOKE BRANDS (26:43)
posted by The Whelk at 9:53 AM PST - 12 comments

How David Weber Orders a Pizza

The telephone rang again. Jason wanted to groan and roll his eyes, but he suppressed this urge and put on the mask of outward neutrality expected of a Pizza Maker Second Class. [...] He slapped the flour dust from his hands, grasped the receiver, and placed it next to his ear. The light codes on the telephone's front panel danced from flashing red to solid green, letting him know that a live connection had been established. "Pizza Barn," he intoned. "Is this for dine in, pick up, or delivery?"
A simple phone call between Pizza Maker Second Class Jason Wilkins and a shadowy Customer. [more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:59 AM PST - 34 comments

You said it Tyrus, I’m one of the good ones.

Each Friday, for more than two years, The Root has responded to emails and comments from our readers (and some people who obviously don’t read The Root). Not today. Today, there will be just one email and one response.
[more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 6:19 AM PST - 80 comments

MySpace has lost all music uploaded between 2003 and 2015

The issue was first noticed about a year ago. MySpace have confirmed that all the music is lost and cannot be recovered. "Due to a server migration files have been corrupted and unable to be transferred to our updated site." [more inside]
posted by daisyk at 4:04 AM PST - 43 comments

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