April 2, 2023

PU (Pendulum Undoing)

Pannenkoek is the person who's been doing the A-button Challenge in Super Mario 64, and along the way has made a number of extremely geeky, but also informative, videos on Mario 64's internals, that explain a number of computer science principles along the way. You know, the person who brought M64's Parallel Universes (PUs) to our knowledge. He has a new video, on crashing the game in Tick Tock Clock by walking into a corner at the right moments (1 hour 12 minutes), and in this one they speak! [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 11:37 PM PST - 15 comments

Kyle Kinane's comments can cause cackling

Seemingly a very recent comedy special, Kyle Kinane showcases his own brand of intelligent, observant, insightful, occasionally irascible (or is that irritating?) comedy in Kyle Kinane - Shocks & Struts [1h]. It's a special that plays nicely within modern boundaries of comedy while occasionally bumping up against them in an unexpected, I think good, way.
posted by hippybear at 8:22 PM PST - 11 comments


Thoeun Chantha. "From ammos to trinkets: Story of a Jeweller" [more inside]
posted by clavdivs at 6:40 PM PST - 2 comments

“Blurred Lines,” Harbinger of Doom

“Blurred Lines” wasn’t supposed to be a meaningful song. It was, by design, a trifle: Pharrell, in imperial-superstar mode, goofing off with the white soul singer and textbook sex idiot Robin Thicke and tossing in a tongue-twisting T.I. verse later for good measure. It’s safe to assume that no one involved in the making of “Blurred Lines” assumed anything legacy-defining was happening in the room where Pharrell wrote the lines “I feel so lucky/You want to hug me/What rhymes with hug me?” [Pitchfork] [more inside]
posted by riruro at 5:08 PM PST - 60 comments

Meet the Quenda

Meet the Quenda: (Video 1); (Video 2). It's not a language invented by Tolkien for the Elves (that's Quenya). Quenda, also called Western Brown Bandicoots, are a small marsupial species native to South Western Australia. Quenda are one of the few native marsupials that can still be seen in Perth’s urban bushland reserves (and sometimes at dusk/night-time at Murdoch University!) Because Quenda bury leaf litter, they help reduce fuel loads which might help reduce bushfire risk (bushfire is the Australian word for a serious forest fire or a serious wildfire). Burying the leaf litter also helps leaves break down and return nutrients to the soil. [more inside]
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 4:26 PM PST - 13 comments

When A Toy Supports Hate

There have always been questions around the funding of the infamous image board 4chan, given its ties to hate groups and conspiracy theories like QAnon. But as part of the fallout of the mass shooting in Buffalo, it has come out that part of that funding came from Japanese toymaker Good Smile, whose Nendoroid line of super-deformed character figurines are popular around the world and has included characters from Disney and Nintendo, among other franchises. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:18 PM PST - 10 comments

RIP Ryuichi Sakamoto, 1952-2023

Ryuichi Sakamoto, composer and electronic music pioneer with his band Yellow Magic Orchestra, has passed away at the age of 71. Band mate Yukihiro Takahashi passed away in January.
posted by krunk at 12:05 PM PST - 60 comments

Even Orangutans need lactation consultants.

An orangutan orphaned as a child had no idea how to care for her first child. For the second, a zookeeper with her own human newborn showed the orangutan mother how to breastfeed. Zoe, a 14-year-old orangutan, grew up with the orangutan equivalent of a high ACEs score. Having never experienced a healthy childhood of her own, or witnessed another orangutan mother, she had no idea how to care for her first baby. The next time she got pregnant, zookeeper Whitlee Turner gave Zoe live breastfeeding demonstrations. [more inside]
posted by EllaEm at 8:50 AM PST - 14 comments

More on AI and the Future of Work

Thinking About AI - "So where do I think we are? At a place where for fields where language and/or two dimensional images let you build a good model, AI is rapidly performing at a level that exceeds that of many humans." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 7:42 AM PST - 113 comments

How Christian is Christian Nationalism?

By Kelefa Sanneh in the April 3 New Yorker. Here's one key paragraph: "For many people, Gorski and Perry argue, 'Christian' refers less to theology than to heritage. Drawing on their own survey, they found that more than a fifth of respondents who wanted the government to declare the US a 'Christian nation' also described themselves as 'secular,' or an adherent of a non-Christian faith. Paradoxically, so did more than fifteen per cent of self-identified Christians. This last data point might be a sign that 'Christian' is starting to become something more like 'Jewish': an ancestral identity that you can keep, even if you don't keep the faith."
posted by Paul Slade at 12:46 AM PST - 79 comments

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