April 15, 2015

Pacific Rim and Lessons in Positive Masculinity

One of the glories of Pacific Rim is that – like the oceans – it contains hidden depths. On the surface, it’s very much a big swinging dick movie about the joys of brawny alpha males using giant robots to punch monsters in the dick with cargo ships while BadAss McCoolName delivers the latest in a long line of writers’ attempts to write their own version of Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day speech. But mostly giant robots beating on monsters.
In fact, Pacific Rim is one of the best examples of what non-toxic masculinity looks like, says Dr. NerdLove.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:35 PM PST - 114 comments

The Ingenious Design of the Aluminum Beverage Can

Engineerguy details the engineering choices underlying the design of a beverage can.
posted by Jpfed at 11:24 PM PST - 36 comments

The Failure of Multiculturalism by Kenan Malik

The Failure of Multiculturalism - Community Versus Society in Europe
Thirty years ago, many Europeans saw multiculturalism—the embrace of an inclusive, diverse society—as an answer to Europe’s social problems. Today, a growing number consider it to be a cause of them.
[more inside]
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:25 PM PST - 86 comments

*tips fedora* Major.

Fans of Star Trek Deep Space Nine know that former overlord Gul Dukat is a mercurial man. He's embraced Bajoran religion more than once, and his Bajoran cosplay is fairly convincing. Should it be any surprise then, that in yet another grasp at power, everyone's favourite Gul-that-is-not-Damar has thrown in his lot with yet another misunderstood and oppressed people? If he cannot rule on Bajor, why couldn't Brony Dukat reign supreme in Equestria? [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion at 8:05 PM PST - 41 comments


MotiveWeight is a submission-based Tumblr dedicated to showing healthy weight loss before and afters. Among the submission rules are: You must be using healthy means to lose weight. Your picture will not be posted if you are underweight for your height. And you can't describe your before picture as ‘disgusting’.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:41 PM PST - 82 comments

Biohackers work in earnest on a seeming oxymoron

Can Biohackers Succeed At Making 'Real Vegan Cheese'? This article gives a brief overview of the pros and cons of how plausible this is. Different scientist take a crack at answering yea or nay to this. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 6:07 PM PST - 44 comments

Acid In The Coliseum

"When Tony Scott took his own life in 2012, we lost an unquestionably significant filmmaker. Some dwelled on the whys of his demise (thus leading to the rumor that the man was dying of terminal cancer when he jumped from San Pedro’s Vincent Thomas Bridge), but ultimately none of that matters one bit. Scott was a genius behind the camera, leaving behind a filmography that was unified in tone and consistently flat out entertaining. It’s a shame that his pictures have been regularly dismissed as nothing more than hollow diversions; mindless drivel meant for mass consumption and disposal. While their appeal is most certainly broad, there’s nothing vapid about them." - Acid In The Coliseum: The Films Of Tony Scott [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 5:32 PM PST - 17 comments

"The lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach"

Today is the 260th anniversary of the publication of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language. It was an innovative, landmark work, which focused on not just "hard words" (as previous dictionaries had), and also introduced the practice of providing quotations from authors illustrating the definitions. There's a dictionary quiz night in London if you can make it.
posted by anothermug at 4:58 PM PST - 13 comments

define meaning intertextuality plot religion

Come read Ulysses with us!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:03 PM PST - 19 comments

Ride along on a spacewalk

This is a video from a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, shot with a GoPro camera and its fucking gorgeous. Here's background on how it happened and what's going on in the video. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:30 PM PST - 46 comments

You have never experienced ecstasy like this 1991 Sizzler commercial

Sizzler is the one who brings us choices. A 1991 promotional video for Sizzler.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:56 PM PST - 186 comments

"Asymmetrical princess-cut, black-metal hip-hop lederhosen."

Tidus is Final Fantasy’s worst dressed character—a sartorial review. [A.V. CLUB]
posted by Fizz at 12:41 PM PST - 57 comments

I wouldn't know a pop chart from a Pop-Tart

Bill Withers: The Soul Man Who Walked Away [more inside]
posted by item at 11:59 AM PST - 20 comments

I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world

"The lack of female genitals on statues seems thoughtless until you see it repeated."--Syreeta McFadden, noticing that Greek and Roman statues of women don't have genitalia.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:59 AM PST - 92 comments

Film location signs: open secret of group wayfinding and misdirection

Nonsense written on yellow and black signs, each with a giant arrow. Where do they come from and what do they mean? If you're in a major city like Los Angeles, you've seen them everywhere, and probably recognize them as directions to filming locations. But what to they mean? WABE in Atlanta set out to "crack the code" and found some way to discern the language of these signs, but be warned: film set signs can also be forms of misdirection.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:54 AM PST - 14 comments

Sweeter for its evidence than its tone

Mary Putnam Jacobi challenged Clarke’s thinly veiled justification for discrimination with 232 pages of hard numbers, charts, and analysis. She gathered survey results covering a woman’s monthly pain, cycle length, daily exercise, and education along with physiological indicators like pulse, rectal temperature, and ounces of urine. To really bring her argument home, Jacobi had test subjects undergo muscle strength tests before, during, and after menstruation. The paper was almost painfully evenhanded. Her scientific method-supported mic drop: “There is nothing in the nature of menstruation to imply the necessity, or even the desirability, of rest.”
posted by sciatrix at 11:51 AM PST - 5 comments

Half grown up, half baby

Ava Ryan is the four-year-old queen of Vine. Here are some of her greatest hits.
posted by easter queen at 11:49 AM PST - 20 comments

crimes on heard of

Cereal Milk Jail; or, how my fake post is still being passed around as oral history years later and i learned to love myself because of it
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:39 AM PST - 49 comments

To Avoid Being "Trampled" At The Door, Enter Through A Window

For the 40th Anniversary of Led Zeppelin's "Physical Graffiti" album, an Interactive Video of a new remix ("Brandy & Coke") of "Trampled Under Foot".
(click on the windows to see the various 'sub-videos'; once inside, move between 'rooms' with arrow keys, click X to exit)
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:26 AM PST - 7 comments

I wish I could speak whale.

The Nautilus and her Corps of Exploration are mapping and exploring ocean features from the Gulf Coast up to British Columbia. Yesterday, they found a whale. You can watch live to see what they find next!
posted by ChuraChura at 8:58 AM PST - 26 comments

Bono is to the Rock Hall what Tom Cruise is to Scientology

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Trade Machine (Steven Hyden for Grantland)
posted by box at 8:23 AM PST - 114 comments

Chops Sawyer

A modern day warrior, mean, mean stride, today's Tom Sawyer, mean, mean pride.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:21 AM PST - 31 comments

There is a different dog under there.

15 Dogs Before And After Their Spring Haircuts
posted by griphus at 7:52 AM PST - 47 comments

The flip side of shame is pride.

All I did was write personal essays inspired by old community cookbooks I found in secondhand stores. Strictly speaking, my food writing wasn’t technically about food. John T. said that didn’t matter. He wanted me to explore “trash food,” because, as he put it, “you write about class.”
posted by zeptoweasel at 7:44 AM PST - 38 comments

Roll up for the mystery tour

Courtesy of your dear friends at ye olde Google, here's a fun and educational interactive tour of the legendary London recording studio: Inside Abbey Road.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:57 AM PST - 8 comments

Schoolhouse Rock's Tax Man Max

Happy Tax Day, US MeFites. Here's Tax Man Max (yt) to explain taxes for Schoolhouse Rock.
posted by julen at 6:51 AM PST - 19 comments

Heeeeey oh hey!

What's that you say? You want a 20 year old video of a nearly nude Jason Statham dancing on a rock pyramid in a music video embodying the worst excesses of the early 90s British Dance Scene? Of course you do! (Hat tip Mathowie, Possibly NSFW due to oiled speedo gyrations)
posted by The Whelk at 5:47 AM PST - 56 comments

New York City Street Trees by Species

New York City's urban forest provides numerous environmental and social benefits, and street trees compose roughly one quarter of that canopy. This map shows the distribution and biodiversity of the city's street trees based on the last tree census.
posted by recurve at 5:03 AM PST - 6 comments

♪ The NYPD Blues ♫

Cop Rock might have been one of the weirdest programs to ever air on network television. A show that "had the guts to ask a question that had been on nobody’s mind: What would you get if you merged the grit of a police procedural with the whimsy of a Broadway musical?" [more inside]
posted by zarq at 4:54 AM PST - 36 comments

Oh, Now I Get It

In 1995, Zippy was explained. In 2001, Jerkcity (contains NSFW dialogue and extremely occasional NSFW imagery) was explained. And now, in 2015, Pokey the Penguin is finally explained. You know, probably. (Click the cover of The Pokey Principle to begin reading.)
posted by BiggerJ at 12:16 AM PST - 23 comments

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