March 18, 2020


"In the space of just a few weeks, so much about our lives has changed. The formerly slow drumbeat of Covid-19 infections in Australia, like the US and UK, has become a quickening pulse, with scores of new diagnoses every day. [...] For many younger adults, something else has changed. All of a sudden, spooked by graphs and reports showing much higher morbidity rates from Covid-19 among the elderly, we have become deeply concerned about our ageing parents. This anxiety is manifesting in a strange role reversal." SLGuardian
posted by katra at 10:27 PM PST - 161 comments

Salve for our times: every last one of us

Every Last One of Us Need a boost? This video is a good reminder of our humanity.
posted by nixxon at 10:22 PM PST - 10 comments

misnaming conventions in US history are a disservice

Journalist Robert Evans [twitter](Bahind the Bastards, Worst Year Ever) last year hosted the podcast It Could Happen Here [iHeart, stitcher, apple] about what shape a second American Civil War could take. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:29 PM PST - 19 comments

I Sing The Body Electric

For no reason at all, here's the finale song from the movie Fame, I Sing The Body Electric. It's 5 minutes of real New York Arts Performing Arts Academy wish fulfillment. Also, earlier this year, 30 years later than the release of the movie Fame, The Grammys finale was a recreation, I Sing The Body Electric. It's full of famous people I mostly don't recognize, but I did get a few.
posted by hippybear at 9:01 PM PST - 25 comments

The Accusations Were Lies. But Could We Prove It?

When the university told my wife about the sexual-harassment complaints against her, we knew they weren’t true. We had no idea how strange the truth really was. (SLNYT)
posted by triggerfinger at 8:18 PM PST - 34 comments

Project MUSE free access / Women's History Month sources

Several university presses are offering content on Project MUSE for free until the end of May or June: Johns Hopkins University Press; The University of North Carolina Press; University of Nebraska Press; Temple University Press; University Press of Colorado; Utah State University Press; The Ohio State University Press; Vanderbilt University Press; and University of Georgia Press. Incidentally, it's Women's History Month, and Project MUSE hosts many recent publications of relevance. [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet at 6:06 PM PST - 2 comments

So Many Textbooks

Cambridge University Press is making all of its textbooks available free online in HTML, until the end of May.
posted by Alensin at 5:17 PM PST - 21 comments

Live From Home

Ben Gibbard is playing solo live shows from isolation in his home every day at 7pm EST for "the next few weeks or so".
Live now here.
First show was yesterday, located here. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong at 4:23 PM PST - 15 comments

The 2020 DC Environmental Film Festival is now online

The 2020 DC Environmental Film Festival is now online. Select films from the festival will be available to view online March 17 - 31. List at the link.
posted by gudrun at 4:06 PM PST - 1 comments

Old Soap

'In many ways, the soap I seek could be described as mundane. I seek the brands which were once very commonplace, but which are now really very difficult to find.'
Matthew Brooks's instagram account is a collection of old bars of packaged soap.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:50 PM PST - 43 comments

Free audiobooks from the entertainingly weird world of Daniel Pinkwater

Daniel Manus Pinkwater is an author of mostly children's books and young adult titles of the wonderfully weird and punny sort, and is an occasional commentator on National Public Radio. Goodreads lists 128 distinct works, and from this extensive library, he's made 24 titles into audiobooks available to freely download from his website [via Mltshp]. Want even more audio adventures? Webmaster Ed and Daniel collaborated on the Pinkwater Podcast between 2007 and 2017, producing over 500 episodes of recorded books, short stories, interviews, skits, and other random nonsense [Ducks! previously].
posted by filthy light thief at 3:28 PM PST - 28 comments

Reach out and phone someone

Dialup is a voice-chat app that connects you serendipitously to the people you want to stay in touch with. (KQED)
A product of artists Danielle Baskin and Max Hawkins.
Alternately, maybe just call someone you want to talk to? “In Praise of Phone Calls” by Sarah Larson at The New Yorker.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:01 PM PST - 10 comments

while it's there, it's invincible on behalf of the wren...

Award-winning writer Mike “M. John” Harrison tweeted effusively about this live performance of the final track on Irish folk band Lankum’s most recent album. [more inside]
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:57 PM PST - 6 comments

do one thing and do it well

The growth of command line options, 1979-Present ( "Someone might argue that all these extra options create a burden for users. That's not exactly wrong, but that complexity burden was always going to be there, it's just a question of where the burden was going to lie. If you think of the set of command line tools along with a shell as forming a language, a language where anyone can write a new method and it effectively gets added to the standard library if it becomes popular, where standards are defined by dicta like "write programs to handle text streams, because that is a universal interface", the language was always going to turn into a write-only incoherent mess when taken as a whole. At least with tools that bundle up more functionality and options than is UNIX-y users can replace a gigantic set of wildly inconsistent tools with a merely large set of tools that, while inconsistent with each other, may have some internal consistency." [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 11:30 AM PST - 42 comments

Covid-19 and the LGBTQ community

There is increasing evidence that the larger LGBTQ community, like a lot of marginalized communities is at higher risk of developing complications from Covid-19. Both from the virus itself, and the usual bigotry on display at the doctor's office. More then that, the closing of college campuses, while vitally important to stop the spread of the virus, is forcing some LGBTQ students to go back home to unsupporting or violent parents. This is extra imperling for the many LGBTQ students who are homeless, and depend on campus services. [more inside]
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:55 AM PST - 8 comments

“rent strikes against increases. we are not removing“

“In When the Clyde Ran Red, Maggie Craig quotes an article published in the Times just after the 1922 election which suspiciously lists some of the things organised by the ILP: ‘Socialist study circles, socialist economics classes, socialist music festivals, socialist athletics competitions, socialist choirs, socialist dramatic societies, socialist plays – these are only a few of the devious ways in which they attempted to reach the unconverted.’ There were also socialist Sunday schools, cycling and hiking clubs, several newspapers and, unsurprisingly, endless meetings. The city in 1915 was described by the Daily Herald as ‘a place of many meetings; a place rumbling with revolt ... I seemed to see a meeting at every street corner, and late in the evening the theatres poured forth huge masses of people who had been, not at entertainments, but at serious deliberations.’ There was a belief that the people, once properly informed, would seize the opportunity to control their own fate: ‘We are out for life and all that life can give us,’ the revolutionary John Maclean said at his trial for sedition in 1918.” Socialist Glasgow During The First World War
posted by The Whelk at 10:30 AM PST - 2 comments

It's Good To Have A Long Term Perspective When Times Are Rough

Timelapse of the Future: A Journey To The End of Time A relaxing video where the speed of time doubles every few seconds. Favorite comment: "the video: all suns have died -- also the video: has more than 20 minutes left".
posted by benzenedream at 10:13 AM PST - 20 comments

Repeat after me

Life is trying. Every time you have something figured out, some other thing seems to fall apart. Even the best days are threatened with countless frustrations and irritations, while on bad ones we’re faced with disasters. And troubles have a clever way of coming in an array of new sizes and shapes, which means we can’t ever really master existence. The best you can ever do is deal. […]

I have to trick myself into gaining perspective: A quick way to do this is by choosing a soothing mantra. Basically, I repeat a phrase until my feelings are less overwhelming and I can think straight without experiencing too much frustration. I’ve got mantras for mornings when I don’t want to begin my morning and mantras for nights when my mind won’t let me sleep. But I recently found a particularly good phrase that works for pretty much any day and whatever comes my way: “Right now it’s like this.”

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:02 AM PST - 21 comments

Searching for Family History in My Grandmother’s Embroidery

Together, the photograph and the needlework clearly told a story, one beyond any we knew.
posted by Etrigan at 9:29 AM PST - 3 comments

A clock and calendar made of concentric rings

Concentrichron: a clock and calendar made of concentric rings. Twitter link.
posted by cgc373 at 9:23 AM PST - 21 comments

Reading is one of Witherspoon’s superpowers

The perceptive and masterly author Ann Patchett interviews Reese Witherspoon at Patchett's Nashville bookstore. Patchett illuminates Witherspoon's lifelong love of books, and how that led to her wildly successful production company and bringing Gone Girl, Wild, and Big Little Lies from the page to the screen.
posted by kristi at 8:21 AM PST - 5 comments

When this article went to press, the stone was still losing weight.

"The 850-year-old Notre Dame cathedral nearly burned down on 15 April 2019. Researchers are figuring out how to salvage materials and restore the Paris icon. The fire also offers a window to the cathedral’s past by exposing materials that were largely off-limits to science." (Christa Lesté-Lasserre, Science) Topics include cleanup of aerosolized lead, identification of medieval quarries, and tales told by the oak wood used in Notre Dame's beams. (via)
posted by Not A Thing at 8:12 AM PST - 7 comments

💩 Poop your way to victory! 👶🏾

Pooplers [YouTube] [Gameplay Trailer] “Pooplers is a party game. Up to 4 players. As a toddler you have diarrhea. Try to mark your territory over the family house by spreading your poop over a bigger surface of the floor than the other toddlers. Avoid the parent which wants to put you back in your craddle. Chamber pots are safe spots on which the parent will leave you alone. After the timer ends the poopler which covered the biggest part of the floor is declared winner. At the end of the timer the toddler which covered the biggest percentage of the house with his poop is declared winner.” [via: Nintendo Life]
posted by Fizz at 7:32 AM PST - 30 comments

Atrus Simulators

I've posted about writing simulators and walking simulators (all sales listed are still current) - this time, it's walking simulator makers. The incredibly charming fortnightly-game team Sokpop Collective has followed up their simple $3 USD point-and-click adventure game maker sok-stories with a simple $3 USD walking simulator maker, sok-worlds. (Both are now also on Steam.) Below the fold, free (and varyingly unusual) walking simulator makers, and tips for all of them. [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 5:48 AM PST - 3 comments

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