August 1, 2019

Galt's Empty Quarter

"NEOM does not really exist yet, but from descriptions of the plans, it sounds like something a nine-year-old might dream up. There will be robot dinosaurs and robot cage fights. There will be “a genetic-modification project to make people stronger,” and cloud seeding to make it rain in the desert. It will “supplant Silicon Valley in technology, Hollywood in entertainment and the French Riviera as a place to vacation.” The beaches will have “glow-in-the-dark sand.” One prince involved with the project said: “I don’t want any roads or pavements. We are going to have flying cars in 2030!” A giant artificial moon will be raised in the sky each night. (It is unclear why the actual existing moon will not suffice.)" “NEOM” MAY BE OUR FUTURE (Current Affairs) Saudi Arabia’s crown prince turned to U.S. consultants for help imagining a massive new city-state in a barren section of his kingdom (WSJ)
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 PM PST - 54 comments

Parents giving up custody to get their children need-based financial aid

"First, parents turn over guardianship of their teenagers to a friend or relative. Then the student declares financial independence to qualify for tuition aid and scholarships." (ProPublica Illinois)
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 9:19 PM PST - 38 comments


On the recent episode of A24's podcast, directors Ari Aster (Midsommar, recently released) and Robert Eggers (The Lighthouse, coming soon) name-dropped 42 movies. We compiled every film mentioned — from Andrei Rublev to Conan the Barbarian to a whopping 18 Bergman films — into an annotated watch list for those of you that have approximately 87 hours to kill.
posted by mannequito at 9:00 PM PST - 22 comments

Autistics Speak: Nothing About Us, Without Us

Many Autistic adults say childhood ABA training (Applied Behavioral Analysis) is abusive and left them traumatized. ABA was developed by Ivar Lovaas, who contributed to the creation of conversion therapy, and is derived from the same principles. The goal, as Lovass said, is to make the Autistic child look "normal". Learning to behave as most children do will theoretically help allistic (non-autistic)  children feel more comfortable with (and less likely to bully) the Autistic child. No mention is made of the fact that when an Autistic person is forced to behave 'normally', they experience ongoing, intense discomfort, and often pain.  [more inside]
posted by ruetheday at 6:57 PM PST - 68 comments

Possible 5X improvement in heat exchangers

From Brown and Tsinghua University in Nature Communications: "Researchers from Tsinghua University and Brown University have discovered a simple way to give a major boost to turbulent heat exchange, a method of heat transport widely used in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. In a paper published in Nature Communications, the researchers show that adding a readily available organic solvent to common water-based turbulent heat exchange systems can boost their capacity to move heat by 500%. " Orig paper
posted by aleph at 4:48 PM PST - 14 comments

the death of a chimpanzee

It started as a good day. As usual, Kevin Langergraber got up at dawn to follow and observe the chimpanzees of Ngogo, in Uganda’s Kibale National Park. An anthropologist from Arizona State University, he has been studying the group for 19 summers. This year, food has been scarce, and so have the chimps. But yesterday Langergraber found a group of 30 adults playing and relaxing, with infants crawling all over them. “It was just me and 30 chimps,” he says. “I was so happy. And it just turned so quickly.” Later in the day, the chimps were on the move, traversing a familiar route between two stretches of forest. Shortly after they reentered the trees, Langergraber, who was right behind them, heard one of them scream. He thought they had stumbled onto a buffalo or an elephant, but when he ran up to them, he was shocked to see two people. Poachers. Ed Yong writes for the Atlantic about the poaching of a chimpanzee. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 4:38 PM PST - 8 comments

How to build a stool.

The rural grandfather built the legendary seventh-generation Luban stool, which is so powerful. (SLYT)
posted by zengargoyle at 3:18 PM PST - 12 comments

Jury finds Katy Perry's 'Dark Horse' guilty of copyright violation

A jury has found Katy Perry and her music-writing team liable for copying the underlying beat of Marcus Gray’s 2008 Christian rap song “Joyful Noise” for her 2013 hit single “Dark Horse” in a verdict handed down on Monday (July 29, 2019) in Los Angeles federal court. While musicians copying one another is not uncommon, the hook in question is so basic that many music professionals are both confused and alarmed at the implications.
posted by smokysunday at 2:49 PM PST - 70 comments

Mr. Darcy’s Ten Thousand a Year

“One thousand pounds in the 4 per cents, which will not be yours till after your mother’s decease, is all that you may ever be entitled to,” says Mr. Collins to Lizzy Bennet. But 4 per cent of what? Notes on Liberty explains bonds, Consols, yields and 18th century English financial planning through Pride and Prejudice. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 2:47 PM PST - 19 comments

An Island On the Brink of Collapse Makes a Huge Comeback

A video showing how a community can work together to create a sounder environment. With help from the neighboring island of Pemba, and its Community Forests International organization, Kokota is rebuilding its forest. We the people can create change. Don't wait for the big bosses to initiate. (But do apply for money when you are ready).
posted by mumimor at 1:28 PM PST - 4 comments

Disabled People Can Lose Their Homes for Not Mowing the Lawn

Richard McGary lost his home because he wasn’t able to clean his yard. hen McGary lived in Portland, Oregon, a city inspector decided he had too much debris in his yard and cited his home as a “nuisance” property under the city’s local nuisance ordinance. McGary, who was living with AIDS, asked volunteers from a local AIDS project to help. But before they could clear the yard to the city’s satisfaction, McGary was hospitalized with AIDS-related complications. His patient advocate informed the city that McGary was an individual with a disability and requested more time, but Portland refused. The city issued a warrant for violating the city’s chronic nuisance ordinance, and charged him $1,818.83 for the cost of clean-up. When McGary couldn’t pay, Portland claimed rights to his home — and forced McGary sell it to satisfy his debt to the city.
posted by xingcat at 12:40 PM PST - 30 comments

MLB trade deadline: Prospect hugging edition

The MLB trade deadline came and went, and what started with a whimper ended with the bang of Zack Greinke's trade from the D-Backs to the Astros. While at least one author compares it unfavorably to the NBA trade deadline, there's questions on why some contenders (Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals) didn't buy. [more inside]
posted by Carillon at 12:02 PM PST - 18 comments

Font made of gerrymandered congressional districts.

The title explains it. Admire and despair!
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 11:11 AM PST - 10 comments

There can be only 1

This math equation is dividing the internet, and no one can agree on an answer
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:59 AM PST - 197 comments

capable of delivering an extended jolt of 50,000 volts

Shock Treatment in Court Stun belts are intended to keep control in the courtroom, but some judges use them to inflict punishment. [The Marshall Project]
posted by readinghippo at 10:41 AM PST - 25 comments

Creatures of Elemental Fire

In Middle Eastern and Islamic cosmology, the djinn/jinn are a class of spirits that inhabit a hidden world, al ghayb. Belief in them predates Islam and they feature in folklore and religion both in a variety of shapes and forms - A twitter thread (Threadreader version) by Ali A. Olomi, historian of the Middle East and Islam, and host of the Head on History podcast. [more inside]
posted by cendawanita at 9:13 AM PST - 14 comments

Are You Rich?

A simple and provocative interactive from The New York Times that uses your income to assess whether or not you are rich within your current (USian) community: "Are You Rich?"
Net worth is probably a better way to assess your richness.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:07 AM PST - 79 comments

Newport Folk Festival at 60 (and 59, and 58...)

As the Newport Folk Festival turned 60 this year (Providence Journal), Rolling Stone recapped their favorite moments, including ♀♀♀♀: The Collaboration (Dolly Parton and The Highwomen [prev], and many more!) and Kermit the frog with Jim James (audience recording). RS recapped last year, too, when Jon Batiste’s Songs for Change Singalong closed out the festival (full show from NPR), and from 2017, when there was an unannounced tribute to Bill Withers (audience recording of Grandma's Hands Band performing Lovely Day).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:28 AM PST - 3 comments

How Polio Inspired the Creation of Candy Land

Abbott set out to concoct some escapist entertainment for her young wardmates, a game that left behind the strictures of the hospital ward for an adventure that spoke to their wants: the desire to move freely in the pursuit of delights
posted by BekahVee at 8:07 AM PST - 6 comments

No, Mister Bond, I Expect You To Die

Esquire ranks all 104 Bond villains. Every single henchman, rogue Russian general, SPECTRE assassin, murderous seductress, and, of course, mad supervillain intent on destroying the world unless they get their ONE MEEEELION DOLLARS. Bonus -- just one page, not a bunch of click-to-advance ad bait. And, obviously, you will disagree with their #1 pick and probably every other pick, but that's why we love listicles, isn't it?
posted by briank at 7:26 AM PST - 37 comments

Remembering My Dad Through Classic Rock’s Greatest Misses

Morgan Enos (Other Houses) talks bonding with his dad over rock & roll’s flops and misfires.
posted by josher71 at 7:26 AM PST - 20 comments

Tokyo subway’s humble duct-tape typographer

Sixty-five year old Sato san wears a crisp canary yellow uniform, reflective vest and polished white helmet. His job is to guide rush hour commuters through confusing and hazardous construction areas. When Sato san realised he needed more than his megaphone to perform this duty, he took it upon himself to make some temporary signage. With a few rolls of duct tape and a craft knife, he has elevated the humble worksite sign to an art form. (previously)
posted by Etrigan at 6:47 AM PST - 23 comments

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake"

Is it time for a sleep divorce? “While there are benefits to sleeping together, one partner’s troublesome sleeping or annoying bed habits can affect the other and increase production of the stress hormone cortisol, thus causing issues that impact the couple as a whole” [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 6:02 AM PST - 93 comments

I’m here for the ice cream sandwiches

Birth of the cool: The story behind the ice cream sandwich, an icon at 120 : "Aug. 2 is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, surely a holiday worth celebrating. And this year marks the ice cream sandwich’s 120th birthday. Or maybe it doesn’t."
posted by carolr at 4:29 AM PST - 22 comments

The value of billionaires pledges

After the fire at Notre Dame, billions in pledges arrived from some of the wealthiest people in France. Now that the bills have come due, the actual money is coming from small donations, with equal amounts coming from the United States and France. [more inside]
posted by Hactar at 1:38 AM PST - 18 comments

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