April 25, 2012

On some alien planet, this is how they do wheels

This helium-filled flying object moves through the air by turning itself inside-out. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:21 PM PST - 29 comments

new life from leftovers

Don't toss that celery base! Did you know you can use it to re-grow a new bunch of celery? The same thing works for romaine lettuce and bok choy. You can regrow scallions or leeks or any cooking onion. You can grow garlic. What about lemongrass or ginger? Try planting pepper seeds or key lime seeds; a leftover pineapple top or the classic avocado pit. You can eat the leaves from carrot tops or sweet potato vines or just keep them as houseplants. Seeds Straight From Your Fridge (NYT link)
posted by flex at 9:06 PM PST - 108 comments

"It All Turns On Affection"

Last night, author and farmer Wendell Berry delivered a powerful lecture [video; full text here includes portions not delivered verbally] to a full house on the occasion of his accepting the National Endowment of the Humanities' Jefferson Award. The famous PC holdout has appeared previously in the blue, but this lecture is not to be missed. Here is soul nourishment for the long-time Berry follower, and for the newcomer a superb introduction to one of our time's greatest intellects. [more inside]
posted by maniabug at 8:46 PM PST - 27 comments

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?

A group known as the Cincinnati Dry Dredgers have uncovered an unusual fossil (since dubbed "Godzillus") which is currently the subject of investigation and debate. Among the current questions? "Is it animal or vegetable?".
posted by radiosilents at 7:01 PM PST - 38 comments

"The older I get, the more I feel a need to sterilize things. "

Adulting: How to become a grown-up in 387 easy(ish) steps. From "Step 177: Boring and/or bad mail doesn't evaporate if you ignore it" to "Step 169: Laying in bed is not a solution to feeling overwhelmed." [more inside]
posted by redsparkler at 6:46 PM PST - 166 comments

On Calling Women 'Crazy'

Women are often referred to as crazy when remembered by exes. A magazine article propagating this view was forcefully rebutted. Have the times changed for women with a wide range of emotions?
posted by reenum at 6:37 PM PST - 156 comments


This was filmed to show the passion and art of glowstringing and sticking, to show peace, love, unity and respect. Glowstringing is my passion and it's been an amazing experience learning this art. This was also filmed to showcase my good friend Blake Johnson's music, and whether he knows it or not his amazing filming skills. We are both blessed with an amazing talent, and we are proud to present this work of art. Glowstringing by Anna "Schlosser90".
posted by lazaruslong at 6:16 PM PST - 23 comments

You say worst, I say greatest.

Drew, creator of Toothpaste For Dinner (and KOMPRESSOR, CRUDBUMP and Married To The Sea with wife Natalie Dee), has a new blog: The Worst Things For Sale. Highlights include the riot police shower enclosure, tub of 9,000 live ladybugs, and $78k ancient fertility statue (which even the sole product reviewer admits is highly dangerous). All products handily available on Amazon.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:23 PM PST - 50 comments

Cow Boy Comic

Cow Boy - the tale of Boyd Linney, a ten-year-old bounty hunter determined to round up his outlaw family. Or as Chris Sims puts it: "True Grit: The Animated Series".
posted by Artw at 4:40 PM PST - 17 comments

Solving mysteries of the Soviet lunar lander program

What the hell happened to the Luna 23 probe? As part of the Soviet Union's Luna program, it was designed to collect a small sample of lunar regolith and return it to Earth. But despite landing, it failed to leave the moon. Two years later, Luna 24 landed nearby and managed to attain and return a sample, but its geological properties conflicted wildly with what was expected. What the hell happened with Luna 24? [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:17 PM PST - 40 comments

What I’m trying to do at the moment is go back to our original intent, which is that the standard issue, the one that everybody gets and is available to everybody, is beautiful.

Jason Pierce goes through every Spiritualized album sleeve. The Spiritualized sleeves always have a great look to them -- and Jason Pierce sits down with MTV to go through and talk about each of them. Also, the new video for "Hey Jane" is pretty keen too.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:43 PM PST - 34 comments

A website committed to promoting the use of the scythe

The folks behind the Scythe Connection no longer sell scythes, but the site remains a fantastic resource on an ancient tool still being used by some today. Maybe start browsing at the Navigation Guide. The site covers the tools, technique and sharpening, while weaving in a sort of mystical appreciation for the scythe. If you read nothing else, read their profile of Danish "creek worker" Niels Johansson, the "Mower of the Decade."
posted by resurrexit at 1:40 PM PST - 34 comments

Ready for the Fight: Rolling Stone Interview with Barack Obama

Ready for the Fight: Rolling Stone Interview with Barack Obama
posted by garlic at 1:34 PM PST - 102 comments

Obscura Day, 2012

Atlas Obscura (seen 'round here before) has organized its third annual Obscura Day for April 28. It's "an international celebration of unusual places," from the Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Particle Accelerator at John E. Edwards Accelerator Laboratory in Athens, Ohio, to a tour of the Secrets & Oddities of the National Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland and an Expedition to the 1,553 Stone-Carved Monks of Nihon-ji in the city of Kyonan, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:59 PM PST - 3 comments

Photographic history

NYC's Department of Records has officially announced the debut of its photo database, releasing 870,000 photos of the city and its operations to the public. Here are some of the best ones. Here is the link to the gallery itself (though good luck getting in right now). [more inside]
posted by Phire at 12:43 PM PST - 29 comments


Goalgasm: a brief history of over-excitable commentaries
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:40 PM PST - 21 comments

An Artist Goes Undercover at a JC Penney Portrait Studio

An Artist Goes Undercover at a JC Penney Portrait Studio.
posted by chunking express at 12:34 PM PST - 39 comments

"You can see it's not selling very well."

The US Supreme Court today heard arguments in the case of Arizona et al vs. United States, which concerns the role of states in enforcing federal immigration law. Two years ago this month, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law SB 1070, considered by many to be the toughest anti-immigration law in the country. In an ensuing outcry, the legislation was called racist and its backers nativists, with several groups organizing boycotts against the state of Arizona. [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan at 12:30 PM PST - 48 comments

Secret treehouse, public land: what now?

The HemLoft is an egg-shaped treehouse that Joel Allen built over three years on an imposing hemlock tree he found on crown (government owned) land near Whistler, British Columbia. Until recently, Allen kept the beautiful, illegally-built structure secret, but now that it's been shared with the world, what will happen to it?
posted by ocherdraco at 12:10 PM PST - 47 comments

Abraham Lincoln Gillespie

Abraham Lincoln Gillespie's The Syntactic Revolution
posted by BEE-EATING CAT-EATER at 11:49 AM PST - 5 comments

The long and short of it.

Do people spend too long in therapy? Or is saying so possibly misconduct?
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:41 AM PST - 45 comments

Whole wheat pancakes on an antique plate

Pictureless Pinterest
posted by boygeorge at 11:32 AM PST - 37 comments

"And may no man’s weight ever lay freight your soul"

All The Wild Horses is a portraiture series by Andrew McGibbon featuring spectacular equine photographs. [more inside]
posted by quin at 10:57 AM PST - 23 comments

The nightmare corpse-city of R'lyeh was built in measureless eons behind history by the vast, loathsome shapes that seeped down from the dark stars.

Have you ever wondered what non-euclidean geometry actually looks like? This video uses a custom ray tracer for the Minecraft engine to give some examples.
posted by codacorolla at 10:56 AM PST - 36 comments


Leverage the power of CLOUD COMPUTING using standard Unix tools!
posted by kenko at 10:52 AM PST - 31 comments

The History of Bowie in 100 Objects

With fans struggling to come to terms with David Bowie's musical hiatus and likely retirement, any new Bowie-related material has been eagerly pursued. Last year, the leak of the unreleased album Toy (previously) slaked the thirst of those needing a Bowie fix. Last week, an unauthorized preview of another Bowie project emerged— Bowie: Object. First announced in 2010, the book features 100 objects from Bowie's archive, with text written by the man himself.
posted by kimdog at 10:45 AM PST - 12 comments

You can't have one...

Around the world with Married... With Children. [more inside]
posted by griphus at 9:58 AM PST - 53 comments


Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (ft. President Obama) - Stafford Loan Interest Slow Jam
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:50 AM PST - 57 comments

From SIN to HEL in 11 hours

How Creativity Connects with Immorality Are creative types more likely to cross moral boundaries?
posted by infini at 9:35 AM PST - 40 comments

(Retro) Avengers Assemble

Hopefully the new Avengers film will kick as much butt as the 1978 version.
posted by Renoroc at 9:04 AM PST - 60 comments

Francis Galton

galton.org is an exhaustive website devoted to the life and works of the statistical pioneer and "father of eugenics" Francis Galton, inventor of the scatterplot, the correlation coefficient, fingerprint identification, and who knows what else. Almost all of Galton's books and papers are reproduced here, some in scanned form and some in searchable .pdf, from his major books to his letters to Pigeon Fancier's Journal. A short selection after the fold. [more inside]
posted by escabeche at 8:54 AM PST - 11 comments

The successful scientist thinks like a poet but works like a bookkeeper.

Harvard sociobiologist E. O. Wilson explores The Origins of the Arts.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:52 AM PST - 38 comments

Crisis Contrived

Most of what we think about Mexican immigration is wrong. If Congress had done nothing to secure the border over the last two decades — if it had just left the border alone — there might be as many as 2 million fewer Mexicans living in the United States today, Massey believes....

“Not only was the militarization of the border not a success,” Massey argues, “it backfired in the sense that it transformed what had been a circular migration of male workers to three states [California, Texas, and Illinois] into a much larger, settled population of families living in 50 states.”

posted by caddis at 8:24 AM PST - 78 comments

"I want to marry a lighthouse keeper..."

The strange story of Market Island
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:23 AM PST - 19 comments


Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police. Brought to you by the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Prague.
posted by timshel at 8:04 AM PST - 15 comments

Descriptive Camera

Descriptive Camera, 2012 "The Descriptive Camera works a lot like a regular camera—point it at subject and press the shutter button to capture the scene. However, instead of producing an image, this prototype outputs a text description of the scene." [more inside]
posted by delmoi at 7:00 AM PST - 51 comments


Limbless amphibian species found. [bbc.co.uk] A UK-Indian team of scientists have announced the discovery of a new species of limbless amphibian. The creature - about 168mm in length and pink in colour [image] - belongs to an enigmatic, limbless group of amphibians known as the caecilians [wiki].
posted by Fizz at 6:26 AM PST - 52 comments

Our “white people problems” problem

The AV Club: "Why it’s time to stop using “white” as a pejorative"
posted by Chrysostom at 5:49 AM PST - 189 comments

Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element"

Beanplating on The Fifth Element from architecture students at the University of Waterloo. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 5:39 AM PST - 198 comments

Experimental delayed-choice entanglement swapping.

"Using four photons, we can actively delay the choice of measurement on two of the photons into the time-like future of the registration of the other two photons. This effectively projects the two already registered photons onto one of two mutually exclusive quantum states in which the photons are either entangled (quantum correlations) or separable (classical correlations). This can also be viewed as ‘quantum steering into the past’." (arXiv, Nature Physics, Ars Technica)
posted by jeffburdges at 12:47 AM PST - 80 comments

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