June 11, 2020

Grace Olive Wiley, noted entomologist, more famous the Snake Lady

For the first 30 years of her life, Grace Olive Wiley was deathly afraid of snakes—a strange trait for someone who would come to be known as the most celebrated snake woman of her time. As a child and young adult, she would blanch in horror at even the most harmless varieties. But the story goes that one day in the early 1920s, while working at the Minneapolis Museum of Natural History, a rattlesnake slithered across her hand as she was talking to a visitor. When the reptile didn't strike, she thought that perhaps all snakes could be tamed, and decided she wanted to know how. The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of Snake Handler Grace Olive Wiley (Mental Floss) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:42 PM PST - 9 comments

Why chiseled boxers lose, and flabby boxers win

Body beautiful: In boxing, aesthetics don’t count for much.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:24 PM PST - 37 comments

The Marx Brothers Live!

The Marx Brothers Early Career Explored in Fascinating New Book Robert S. Bader spoke to us about his book detailing the Marx Brothers' rise in vaudeville. In a 2016 article, Robert S. Bader talks to DenOfGeek about the Marx Brothers' early career on stage, even on Broadway, long before their movie career started. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:05 PM PST - 25 comments

DISRAELI GEARS - A bicycle derailleur collection

DISRAELI GEARS - A bicycle derailleur collection. "I have been working in bicycle shops since the mid 1970s, and I decided to put together this collection to represent rear derailleurs that I have worked on, sold, heard about or seen at trade shows in that time. Some are gears that I had only heard of, vehemently discussed by crusty old geezers in draughty Cyclist Touring Club club rooms, some are models that I personally sold in their hundreds and some are exotic beauties that I dreamed of owning"
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:46 PM PST - 91 comments

Mastery of the self⁠ translated into control of the world

The European man who showed command over his own body would surely also be successful in dominating a “savage wilderness”—which was, of course, neither savage nor unpopulated.
Postcolonial Bodies: a short essay by David L. Chapman.
posted by Rumple at 7:20 PM PST - 5 comments

"Those neural nets sure are weird, making all those weird noises"

Janelle Shane got a chance to preview the new OpenAI API, which is "REALLY good at following all sorts of prompts", making it great at creating believable Twitter bots: This is the OpenAI API. It makes spookily good twitter bots 13/10 would retweet [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 5:40 PM PST - 29 comments

The Colonel and the Housekeeper

As the coronavirus pandemic has forced hospitals to impose strict restrictions on visitors and clergy, the work of people like Quinteros has become even more important, say health care experts. They don't just keep the rooms clean of harmful germs. Many also try to lighten the mood with smiles or jokes, provide encouragement when patients lose hope and offer an attentive ear when patients need to process their emotions. And so it was that a housekeeper from Guatemala and a retired Air Force colonel met in a hospital room in Florida. And slowly, one began to heal the other. "I don't think she realized at the time what she was doing for me," Denney told CNN in recent interview. "She was saving my life." (Daniel Burke, CNN) [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:48 PM PST - 13 comments


PS5: The Future of Gaming Show [YouTube] [Twitch.tv] The PS5 reveal event starts today, June 11th, at 1 PM PDT / 9 PM BST / 10 PM CEST. The digital games showcase itself will run "for a bit more than an hour" and give viewers a "first look" at some PS5 games that will be playable when the console releases this holiday season, according to the official PlayStation blog. The event will be "best" streamed with headphones due to some "cool audio work in the show," but Sony did not specify further. [via: Gamespot]
posted by Fizz at 12:46 PM PST - 88 comments

Harry Potter and the Author Who Failed Us

The Harry Potter book series helped me realize I’m nonbinary. Now I know that had nothing to do with J.K. Rowling. By repudiating Rowling’s anti-trans comments, millions of Harry Potter fans are also turning the series into a symbol of the power of a collective voice to drown out an individual one. The power of fans’ love and empathy for trans people and other vulnerable communities, and their steady rejection of Rowling’s prejudice, is a potent, raw form of cancellation — one undertaken not out of a spirit of scorn and ostracism, but with something closer to real grief — and it deserves to be a part of the story of Harry Potter.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:31 PM PST - 181 comments

Anansi the Spider

Anansi, the trickster god of the Ashanti of West Africa, takes the shape of a spider who goes to the sky god to buy his stories to share with the world. He once enjoyed his life as a man. Nyame (N'-ya-mae), his father, changed his mischievous son into a spider. As a spider-man, Anansi continued his pranks.
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:17 PM PST - 17 comments

Veggies from Scrap

How to Grow Vegetables from Kitchen Scraps. Spring onions, bok choy, celery and other vegetables can be grown from scraps in just a little water. In soil you can grow carrots, potatoes, turnips, beets, bok choy, cabbages....
posted by storybored at 11:41 AM PST - 24 comments

"Now, blindspots we didn't even know existed have been revealed."

Multi-award winning country group Lady Antebellum has announced a name change, and now ask to be called "Lady A". [more inside]
posted by hanov3r at 11:10 AM PST - 62 comments

Why the Poetry Foundation Shake-Up Is One to Watch

Leadership at the storied cultural institution resigned this week. That’s just the first in a series of demands penned by an all-star coalition of Chicago poets.
posted by Etrigan at 10:56 AM PST - 5 comments

An artifact of post-9/11 American rot

4/28: sorry for being dramatic but my editors just assigned me a piece that means watching a TV show i never, ever wanted to see and i'm on the verge of tears
5/23: have completed one season. please flatten my head with a hammer
6/11: My Journey to the Heart of Darkness in “Entourage”
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:16 AM PST - 13 comments

Spider Tales

Jake Blount is a fiddle and banjo player whose new album Spider Tales is "[N]amed for Anansi—the great trickster of Akan mythology," and "features fourteen carefully chosen tracks drawn from Blount’s extensive research of Black and Indigenous mountain music. The result is an unprecedented testament to the voices paradoxically obscured yet profoundly ingrained into the Appalachian tradition." Tracks from the album include Goodbye, Honey, You Call That Gone (with Nic Gareiss), Roustabout (with Tatiana Hargreaves), Brown Skin Baby, a gender-swapped version of Where Did You Sleep Last Night, Old-Timey Grey Eagle, and Beyond This Wall. Jake Blount (writing for No Depression): Across Generations, The Healing Power of the Banjo. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:04 AM PST - 3 comments

Solutions and Other Problems

After seven years, Allie Brosh, creator of the blog and book Hyperbole and A Half, has written a second book, due out in September.
posted by JHarris at 9:25 AM PST - 35 comments

The Wiener’s Circle: We’re Here For You

With Chicago restaurants struggling to carry on in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the health restrictions it has triggered, The Wiener's Circle (previously, previouslier), has found its way to cope (NSFW).
posted by kgander at 7:18 AM PST - 16 comments

A long lost album resurfaces

Jazz Sabbath (1968) were considered to be at the forefront of the new English jazz movement. Long forgotten but now, startlingly, rediscovered. [more inside]
posted by epo at 6:13 AM PST - 16 comments

The Mis-Education of White Folks

A great essay on the insidiousness of white supremacy and how deeply ingrained it is in the United States.
posted by dark matter at 5:24 AM PST - 39 comments

It's close to midnight

Just a short clip of Mrs. Hawkins the K-8 dance teacher leading the students down a hallway at the Birney School in Southfield, Michigan to Michael Jackson's Thriller (SLYT, pre-COVID-19)
posted by Harald74 at 12:55 AM PST - 18 comments

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