September 12, 2015

a tree grows in Israel

Extinct tree grows anew from ancient jar of seeds unearthed by archaeologists [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:29 PM PST - 25 comments

California is STILL burning

After two devestating fires - Rocky and Jerusalem - Lake Country is hit again. This time with the Valley Fire. Lake County is an hour north of Napa in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has spent the past three months more or less constantly on fire. In just under seven hours, the fire has burned an estimated 20,000 acres. This time, it's heading straight for two of the larger communities in the area: Middletown and Hidden Valley Lake. Four firefighters have been treated for second degree burns received while fighting this new, explosive fire. [more inside]
posted by guster4lovers at 9:28 PM PST - 108 comments

It's bad for you. So why does it feel so good?

Doctors often say that you shouldn't use cotton swabs like Q-Tips to clean out your ears because you risk damaging the ear drum. But in that case, why does it feel so good? After all, people around the world have been using picks, candles, rakes, scoops, and swabs to clear out the wax for centuries. Turns out that while a build-up of wax can cause deafness, manually scooping that wax often shoves it further down the ear canal and makes everything worse. Worse, removing that wax makes your ears feel itchy--which makes every go-around with the old Q-Tip feel that much more satisfying. Previously.
posted by sciatrix at 8:33 PM PST - 167 comments

“the best example in all of American poetry of a wolf in sheep’s cloth”

The Most Misread Poem in America by David Orr [The Paris Review]
“And almost everyone gets it wrong. This is the most remarkable thing about “The Road Not Taken”—not its immense popularity (which is remarkable enough), but the fact that it is popular for what seem to be the wrong reasons. [...] Frost’s poem turns this expectation on its head. Most readers consider “The Road Not Taken” to be a paean to triumphant self-assertion (“I took the one less traveled by”), but the literal meaning of the poem’s own lines seems completely at odds with this interpretation. The poem’s speaker tells us he “shall be telling,” at some point in the future, of how he took the road less traveled by, yet he has already admitted that the two paths “equally lay / In leaves” and “the passing there / Had worn them really about the same.” So the road he will later call less traveled is actually the road equally traveled. The two roads are interchangeable.”
[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:13 PM PST - 71 comments

A letter to Hild

My Story, Mystery: A Letter to Hild of Whitby by Nicola Griffith "DEAR HILD, You were magnificent, I think, but hidden: a black hole at the heart of history. We can trace you only by your gravitational pull. We know, for example, that the very first piece of English literature — Cædmon’s Hymn, certainly the earliest extant example of Old English vernacular and very possibly the first created — was forged in the fire of your influence; that in the so-called Dark Ages you built and ran Whitby Abbey, the foundation at the center of what became Northumbria’s Golden Age. There you hosted and facilitated the meeting of kings, princes, and bishops that changed Britain. But we have no account of you beyond a five-page sketch in a 1300-year-old history, most of which recites the standard hagiographic miracles and visions of the time. We have no gossipy Life, no scholarly monograph, no racy romance cycle. There isn’t even a grave."
posted by dhruva at 7:11 PM PST - 5 comments

This is our f*****g designated hitter

David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox baseball player who (in)famously spoke for the city of Boston(NSFW) in the wake of the 2013 marathon bombing, just hit the 500th home run of his career, becoming just the 27th player to reach the mark.
posted by waitingtoderail at 7:09 PM PST - 14 comments

It's a small world, after all

Tiny Hamster takes a vacation to Disney World. (Also a behind the scenes.) Previous Previous tiny hamster shenanigans.
posted by Athanassiel at 6:50 PM PST - 10 comments

Every living thing dies alone. With rainbows and sparkles.

Nihilisa Frank presents a pastel and neon utopia of pithy sayings to keep your despairing heart warm as you feel the weight of the universe crushing down upon you.
posted by ardgedee at 5:40 PM PST - 16 comments

REFUSAL – Mark is Scandalous

In this case, applicant seeks registration of NO FUCKS GIVEN for hats, headbands, hooded sweatshirts, pants, shirts, and wraps. NO FUCKS GIVEN is the standard unit of measurement used to describe the amount an individual cares about something. [via jessamyn]
posted by not_on_display at 5:17 PM PST - 39 comments

The faint terrestrial echo of the hideous laughter of blind mad gods

Alex Gonzalez's "Lovecraft Letters" re-imagine problematic online dating messages as NSFW communication with unnameable creatures from beyond (1 2 3 4). Mallory Ortberg's hilarious "Texts from H.P. Lovecraft" focus on HPL himself, while Richard Svensson's brief video "The Lovecraft Alphabet" and David Haden's "Consult Mr. Lovecraft" plot generator present cute illustrations or parodies of HPL's work. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution at 3:11 PM PST - 9 comments

There was a Videodrome novel?

Audiobooks for the Damned takes the novelizations of films from the seventies and eighties, records audiobook versions, and uploads them to YouTube. [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:01 PM PST - 20 comments

Calling All Brothers

On August 25, a group of 100 men of color lined up outside Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, in Hartford to greet and cheer for the children on their first day of school. “In an urban community, people say that black men [aren’t] valued or there aren’t enough black men doing something,” Pastor AJ Johnson explained. “I wanted to prove everyone wrong.”
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:53 PM PST - 9 comments

The Messengers

The Messengers Discussing grief and guilt and hope for the environment with a photographer who takes pictures of albatrosses that have died from ingesting plastic.
posted by primalux at 1:35 PM PST - 7 comments

A Corpus of Corpora

corpora is a Github repository containing machine-readable lists of interesting words and phrases that "are potentially useful in the creation of weird internet stuff." The corpora range from the mundane (common English words, animals, corporations, pizza toppings) to the obscure (types of knot, wrestling moves, Lovecraftian deities) to the absurd (states of drunkenness, deceased Spinal Tap drummers, unrhymable words).
posted by schmod at 12:33 PM PST - 40 comments

Squeezebox Stories: tales of the accordion, the instrument that you hug

California has long been home to immigrants from around the world (and from within the U.S.). What is less known, however, is that such longstanding histories of immigration and internal domestic migration have made California a fertile ground for extremely diverse and vibrant accordion musical cultures. With that, here is background on four immigrant populations —Italians, Creoles, Lebanese/Middle Eastern, and Mixtec/Mexican — to give more background the Squeezebox Stories, about an hour of history and tales of the accordion, filtered through customs and cultures found in California. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:17 PM PST - 25 comments

To live a life consigned to the margins of history

Illustrated: The Radical Indian Activist Who Influenced Mexico City, Lenin And Einstein
posted by infini at 11:27 AM PST - 12 comments

You are a shark in the space between worlds.

Shark Game: Shoal Sharker is an incremental game about the mystery and majesty of sharks in a strange blue sea.
posted by boo_radley at 10:27 AM PST - 101 comments

An Offense Against Nature Itself

SF writer, biologist and all-around harbinger of doom Peter Watts (a partial previously) has another animal story for us. Warning: some moderate levels of bondage and magical testicles.
posted by maudlin at 10:26 AM PST - 11 comments

Modern day slavery in Brazil; an invisible crime with numbers unknown.

Al Jazeera has recently published a series of articles: -
Heartache and suffering: Slavery in Brazil.
Escaping forced Labour - ex-slaves push for justice in a system that often fails them.
Mining Misery, Subcontracting slavery: How big companies in Brazil get away with it.
posted by adamvasco at 9:17 AM PST - 2 comments

the American Tiki fantasy

"The bohemian aspect, in terms of style and decor, was clearly part of the beachcomber look—the guy in tattered clothes who built his shack from found objects and natural materials like bamboo and driftwood. It became this escapist thing for urbanites to go to these places and feel bohemian for a while. If you look at 1930s photos of restaurants like Trader Vic’s in Oakland or Don the Beachcomber in Los Angeles, these places were full of jetsam and flotsam that didn’t exist in the normal, mid-century home at the time." Tiki Hangover: Unearthing the False Idols of America's South Seas Fantasy (Hunter Oatman-Stanford, Collector's Weekly)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:51 AM PST - 39 comments

White people are going to love it!

If you've visited Starbucks, the grocery store, or Pinterest this week, you know the surest sign of Autumn isn't back-to-school, it's Pumpkin Spice. But is there something more at work here than a collective love of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves?
posted by jacquilynne at 7:56 AM PST - 90 comments

Some of these comics sold hundreds of thousands

Here, from the cool cats at Mister Kitty, is Stupid Comics, covering all the finest in terrible artwork and regrettable writing. Here's a very small portion of what awaits you: Teenage Mutant Ninja Ripoffs - Madam Satan - Badly Drawn Anime Heroine Skye Blue and more pseudo-manga - Lois Lane marries Astounding Man - Kissing Canvas - Badly drawn 80s comics: The Protectors - How To Publish (bad TMNT knockoff) Comics - I Can't Believe It's Not Archie: 1, 2, 3, 4 - Vampire Girls (prob NSFW) - OMG GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - The Human Race - "You've got the wrong Lincoln there!" - Faux-go - Sexy Jaguar Adventures (NSFW) - Comics Advisor - Reggie Mantle actually flips a bird [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 7:37 AM PST - 19 comments

New Horizons is back to sending photos home

Sure, you marveled at the first close up photos of Pluto that the New Horizons spacecraft captured as it soared past the planet. But that was only about 5% of the total photo set. Starting now, the spacecraft will be sending home everything. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:25 AM PST - 44 comments

Just let Richard Gere and Julia Roberts hang out

25 thoughts on seeing Pretty Woman 25 years late
posted by Rhomboid at 7:14 AM PST - 34 comments

♫ Ah, look at all the Corbyn people! Ah, look at all the Corbyn people!♪

Jeremy Corbyn, socialist token once chosen to broaden debate... wins Labour race!
Look at his rivals -- Burnham and Cooper and Kendall all grumble, deplore. Who are they for?
All the Corbyn people -- where do they all come from? All the Corbyn people -- where do they all belong?

Jez's agenda: Nato and Trident and railways and people's QE. Experts agree!
Chuka Umunna, right-leaning leader (and one-time Barack wannabe), pleads unity!
All the Corbyn people -- what will they all become? All the Corbyn people -- will Labour play along? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 3:47 AM PST - 452 comments

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