January 15, 2019

The Real-life Room of Requirement.

A Three-Act Tribute to Libraries. (slThis American Life): "Five of us went to libraries around the country that day.... And one of the things that we found everywhere were even-tempered, unflappable librarians. Like at the Palo Verde Public Library in Phoenix, a library user named Cindy, in a maroon sweatshirt and fanny pack, broke into song to get the librarian to understand exactly which Amy Grant Christmas album she wanted." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:23 PM PST - 6 comments

Namibia is not particularly close to Mount Kilimanjaro

Artist's installation in African desert to play "Africa" forever.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:02 PM PST - 91 comments


Quick-sort with Hungarian (Küküllőmenti legényes) folk dance.
posted by capricorn at 6:47 PM PST - 21 comments

Wheezer or Weezer?

Can you distinguish classic cheerlessness from modern melancholy? Who Wrote It: Edgar Allan Poe or an Emo Band? (Mental Floss)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:30 PM PST - 25 comments


Roy Rogers wore it. Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers has been known to sport one too. It's the bolo tie, baby--or the bola tie, gaucho tie, mono loop tie, emblem lariat, neck rope, cowboy tie, western tie, thong tie, sport tie, or string tie. Reports of the bolo tie's comeback frequently surface; Bloomberg thinks it's happening now. Santa Fe Monthly looks at the bolo tie's still-murky early days; a recent Heard Museum exhibit on Native American bolo ties examined its antecedents in both Anglo and Native culture.
posted by duffell at 5:30 PM PST - 22 comments

"That should be a national motto for us" - K. Tippett

How can I say this so we can stay in this car together, and yet, explore the things I want to explore with you? This is the question Claudia Rankine asks when Krista Tippett interviews her about race and her 2014 book Citizen: An American Lyric, among other things. They also talk briefly about Eula Biss's questions about whiteness and white debt. (First link contains both an audio interview and its transcript.) [more inside]
posted by platitudipus at 3:22 PM PST - 9 comments

Carol will never go away again

Legendary Broadway actress Carol Channing passes away at 97 Carol Channing died of natural causes at 12:31 a.m. Tuesday in Rancho Mirage, California. She had twice suffered strokes in the last year. Broadway will dim its lights for Channing tomorrow night at 7:45 pm ET, The Broadway League announced today. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 2:37 PM PST - 60 comments

Two million gallons of molasses, to go.

One hundred years ago today, a storage tank burst in Boston, unleashing a thirty-foot wave of molasses that flooded the streets at thirty-five miles per hour. Twenty-one people died, some of them by suffocating in the sweet, sticky mire. Here's a song about it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:02 PM PST - 68 comments

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”

“Rosa Luxemburg was a shining star of the early socialist movement. As an economist and political theorist, a teacher and public speaker, a comrade and rebel, a revolutionary and martyr of the German Revolution, she was many things to many people. Her legacy today reflects that, stretching across a broad spectrum of the international left.” For the 100th anniversary of her death, ROSA REMIX (PDF) (German) presents essays by contemporary writers on Rosa Luxemburg’s legacy, theories, and how they can be applied today. Kate Evans, writer/artist of RED ROSA (Previously) offers some reflections in her twitter feed.
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 AM PST - 20 comments

How experimental psychology can help us understand art

Whys of seeing. "Experimental psychology is providing concrete answers to some of the great philosophical debates about art and its meaning." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM PST - 15 comments

"...prions are not an infectious entity; they’re an infectious shape."

“You really want to hope that you’re negative, but the fear that you’re positive keeps interrupting, and it’s a constant psychological dialog,” she says. “Once you know, you start to adapt. What you can’t adapt to is something that keeps changing shape on you.”
When Sonia Vallabh lost her mother to a rare disease, she and her husband, Eric Minikel, set out to find a cure. [more inside]
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity at 10:15 AM PST - 19 comments

she kept track of train delays by knitting herself a scarf

A scarf knitted by a German woman to document her frustrations with frequent train delays has sold for €7,550 (£6,720) on eBay, as the country’s biggest railway company announces plans for a punctuality tsar. (The Guardian) Claudia Weber suspected that delays on her daily train commute had been increasing, so in 2018 she knit two colour coded rows per day, with each colour representing a delay of a particular length. She and her daughter auctioned off the resulting scarf for charity after it went viral on social media, and "she is donating the proceeds to Bahnhofsmission, a charity that helps vulnerable passengers or people facing travel emergencies." (CBC) [more inside]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:03 AM PST - 28 comments

Equality in Women's Wrestling Goes Below the Belt

Late last month, independent professional wrestler Priscilla Kelly had an interesting new move to try out against her opponent: she pulled a "bloody" tampon out of her trunks and shoved it into Tuna's mouth. A clip of it exploded a week later, with various wrestling luminaries weighing in, generally disapprovingly, but with many comparing it to famed indie wrestler Joey Ryan's "dick flip". [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 10:01 AM PST - 8 comments

Is Marijuana as Safe as We Think?

We don’t know that an increase in cannabis use was responsible for that surge in violence. Between 2013 and 2017, [Washington's] aggravated-assault rate rose seventeen per cent, which was nearly twice the increase seen nationwide, and the murder rate rose forty-four per cent, which was more than twice the increase nationwide. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 9:54 AM PST - 55 comments

Red Rocker and Blue Bomber "I coulda been a contender"

Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots What more could you want in life, as a youngster, than to field your own robot in the boxing ring? It was a simpler time, perhaps? [more inside]
posted by mightshould at 9:30 AM PST - 10 comments

“I think Nick Fury just hijacked our summer vacation,”

Spider-Man: Far From Home [YouTube][Teaser Trailer]
posted by Fizz at 9:03 AM PST - 122 comments

Punk's only *mostly* dead. There's a big difference...

After 37 years and 400 issues, the seminal punk zine Maximum Rocknroll is ending print publication. Maximum Rocknroll will continue to exist online.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:26 AM PST - 38 comments

Blueberry Earth

On Physics Stackexchange billybodega asked the question: Supposing that the entire Earth was instantaneously replaced with an equal volume of closely packed, but uncompressed blueberries, what would happen from the perspective of a person on the surface? Unfortunately the site tends to frown on fun questions like this, so it was in my opinion prematurely closed while I was working out the answer. So here it is, with some extra extensions.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:07 AM PST - 30 comments

40 512 993 and counting

Meet the world's most popular egg.
posted by Vesihiisi at 6:20 AM PST - 39 comments

But can Trudeau sing?

Afghan wedding singer finds fame as 'Justin Trudeau's lost twin' "Abdul Salam Maftoon, a wedding singer from a village in the remote and impoverished northeastern province of Badakhshan, had never even heard of his more famous doppelgänger until a judge on the popular television music contest Afghan Star pointed out the uncanny likeness."
posted by freethefeet at 5:33 AM PST - 3 comments

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