May 22, 2017

A Continuous Shape

Filmmakers Jack Webber and Tommaso Di Paola spent 3 weeks working alongside Anna Rubincam, a contemporary stone carver working in London, as she carved a portrait from start to finish. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 4:10 PM PST - 24 comments

The Hidden History of Gas Station Bathrooms, By a Man Who Cleans Them

My job involves mopping up the urine-soaked garbage holes that exhausted motorists take for granted. But in another era, the public took great pride in the glory of roadside restrooms. (SL Narratively)
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:41 PM PST - 52 comments

It's not you, it’s them.

According to the MTA’s own data, New York City subway delays were up some 332 percent between November 2012 and November 2016. The crisis points to larger, systematic and political upheaval, along with real technical issues like " aging cars and track equipment, new cars that struggle to perform as well as well as older ones, and an ancient signaling system, with parts dating back to Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency." Last Monday, the MTA introduced a 6 point plan that they think will help.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:05 PM PST - 38 comments

Pueblo Deco, started by the best known unknown architect, Mary J. Colter

The 1923 opening of the El Navajo Hotel in Gallup, N.M., created a sensation, with the event reported as far away as in the Washington Post. Its architect, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, had merged the bold Art Deco patterns with those created by native artists in the American Southwest to start a style called Pueblo Deco. This style was often seen inside and out on Harvey Hotels and restaurants, where she was exclusive employed from 1910 to 1948. Though a number of Harvey Hotels have been demolished, including El Navajo Hotel, you can still visit (Google maps street view) and stay at La Posada hotel in Winslow, Arizona and the Slaton Harvey House in Slaton, Texas (Google maps), which is currently a bed and breakfast, event hall and railroad museum. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:33 PM PST - 11 comments

"That's when McPherson’s door swung open, and a librarian came racing"

"As the library overdoses mounted, the soft-spoken Moore, whom the kids call Miss Judi, took actions, small and large." Mike Newall of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on librarians at the Philadelphia McPherson Square Library dealing with the opioid crisis on their doorstep. [more inside]
posted by CMcG at 12:59 PM PST - 27 comments

Ask not what your wife can ask for you to do

Mental Load: why women still do most of the work at home.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:31 AM PST - 251 comments

Clearly, it has a thing for dinosaurs

"[A] group of researchers from New York University.... trained a recurrent neural network to predict and classify text based on the work of Chuck Tingle." (from The Register) [all links should be considered NSFW or very NSFW] [more inside]
posted by frimble at 11:26 AM PST - 18 comments

To Cite or to Steal

To Cite or to Steal? When a Scholarly Project Turns Up in a Gallery. Scholar Kevin Ferguson "use[s] public domain scientific image analysis software to create 'sums' of films, adding together the frames of a film to make one single abstract image." He was surprised when he learned about a gallery show of remarkably similar work by artist Jason Shulman. Includes a brief history of visual artists who have done similar work, and a tutorial on how to make your own.
posted by goatdog at 10:52 AM PST - 20 comments

I Have A Very Good Brain And I've Said A Lot Of Things

It's the 122nd day of the Trump Administration and his whirlwind diplomatic tour continues, moving on from the Middle East to … Israel? Israel, which, the President clarified, is definitely not a word that he said when meeting with Russian officials last week. Meanwhile, a sinkhole has formed in front of Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort which is almost certainly not a metaphor for his presidency. Unless it is. In which case, Vox makes the argument that there is no one to blame except Donald Trump.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:23 AM PST - 3244 comments

(Bootstraps Not Included)

What's Your American Dream Score?
A new project from GALEWiLL and funded by the Ford Foundation, called the Your American Dream Score, deflates that idea that success–or lack thereof–is purely one’s own doing. The calculator is a part of a larger initiative, Moving Up: The Truth About Getting Ahead In America, which comprehensively examines the factors that contribute to mobility in America, and why changing one’s circumstances is far more difficult than the folklore leads up to believe[…]The reasons are myriad: wide disparities in educational quality, access to resources like healthy food, and social and familial support are just a slice. But too often, McKinnon says, when someone “makes it out”–like him–the only reason offered up is: “He worked hard.” When someone doesn’t make it out, the reason is: “He didn’t work hard enough.”
[h/t MeFi's Own Miss Cellania]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:45 AM PST - 58 comments

"Everything that is beautiful is also tainted."

A German Life. Brunhilde Pomsel died on January 27 of this year, at the age of 106. Seventy-five years earlier, in 1942, she began work at the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, as a personal secretary to Joseph Goebbels. Before her death, she recorded 30 hours of interviews, which form the basis of the film A German Life (Trailer 1, Trailer 2, IMDB) [more inside]
posted by McCoy Pauley at 8:44 AM PST - 6 comments

Every Color Of Cardigan Mister Rogers Wore From 1979–2001

Some sweaters were worn once and then never again, like the neon blue cardigan Rogers wore in episode 1497. Others, like his harvest gold sweaters, were part of Rogers’ regular rotation and then disappeared. And then there were the unusual batch of black and olive green sweaters Rogers wore exclusively while filming the “Dress-Up” episodes in 1991. To this day, members of the Neighborhood Archive message board claim those are the only sweaters Rogers wore that were store bought. The rest were hand knit by his mother. [Every Color Of Cardigan Mister Rogers Wore From 1979–2001 via The Awl]
posted by chavenet at 8:24 AM PST - 17 comments

"Designed to stoke our most primal browsing habits"

Investigating the content landfills that sit under the banner of "Related Content", "You May Also Like", or "Around the Web" [SLNYT]
posted by R a c h e l at 7:53 AM PST - 43 comments

One good thing about the engine: two of the gaskets are quite good.

Spend twelve soothingly critical minutes with English engine enthusiast Keith Appleton as he tears down, and explains the issues with, a small steam engine. Lots, lots more on his website,
posted by cortex at 7:30 AM PST - 8 comments

WTF Star goes all WTF again

A year and a half ago, F-class star KIC 8462852 (a.k.a. Tabby's Star or Boyajian's Star after Dr. Tabetha Boyajian) was noted to have strange emission patterns, kicking off a spate of stories about how the patterns are totally due to alien megastructures, such as a Dyson sphere. Now KIC 8462852 is at it again.
posted by Etrigan at 7:22 AM PST - 43 comments

The Lost Typefaces of W.A. Dwiggins

When I first started as a typesetter back in 1962, I knew almost nothing about its history. But I learned on the job from people who'd been in the trade and from books. One name that seldom came up was W.A. Dwiggins. I started in newspapers and Times Roman was the font, a more boring typeface has not been devised. Dwiggins' fonts weren't like that.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:49 AM PST - 6 comments

"Babe, you're freaking out," Logan says, taking my hand. "Let's browse."

I implore you to set your better judgement aside, rationalize the fact that you have already clicked, and take my hand. We're going to the American Girl Store. [SLCracked; weirder than usual]
posted by automatic cabinet at 3:11 AM PST - 37 comments

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