January 2, 2015

Papers, Please?

The dream and the myth of the paperless city [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:34 PM PST - 18 comments

Little Jimmy Dickens, Oldest Opry Member, Dies at 94

May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose Little Jimmy Dickens songs on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by bjgeiger at 7:03 PM PST - 14 comments

This is how much a Kickstarter would cost you.

Some breakdowns and analyses of earnings and costs from Kickstarter: Oh Joy Sex Toy (This particular page might be SFW, but most of the site isn't), Fate Core, Video Game High School Season 1 and Season 2, Corporate America. The overall sentiment seems to be that Kickstarters cost more money than assumed, though some disagree on the usefulness of budget breakdowns.
posted by divabat at 5:57 PM PST - 41 comments

Our deep integration is because of confidence, but our disagreements are

China seeks to export its vision of the Internet. The Internet should be “free and open, with rules to follow and always following the rule of law,” Lu Wei said, in somewhat contradictory fashion, at the November conference. Asked whether he would consider allowing Facebook in, he was more direct: “I can choose who will be a guest in my home.” He wants others to assert the same power. [more inside]
posted by Nevin at 3:27 PM PST - 35 comments

Your skin color has been causing us a lot of problems

Being a black man in Ukraine showed me everything that's wrong with race in the U.S.
My introduction to racism in Eastern Europe had come swiftly and severely. Over my next 18 months in Ukraine, race would remain a constant obstacle to normal life and interactions with Ukrainians. Certainly, black skin creates hurdles in the United States, as well. Here, racism systemically – but usually covertly – obstructs African-Americans from fully enjoying all the freedoms afforded to white people. But racism in Ukraine was much more blunt – always in my face, unabashed and in plain view. I never had to guess whether a person’s remarks carried racist undertones or if an officer’s stop was fueled by prejudice. Ukrainians always let me know where I stood with them, good or bad. And I appreciated it.
[more inside]
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:06 PM PST - 59 comments

Happiness is harder to put into words.

Leviathan - a short story by David Sedaris
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:58 PM PST - 11 comments

The Dystopian Future is Now

Living under permanent surveillance and what that means for our freedom This article is about Ai Weiwei, his house arrest and constant surveillance. The article describes his guards as "...actually being used as a small piece of human cognitive processing inside a giant automated surveillance system. They have to do the pattern recognition that computers aren’t capable of yet." [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 2:55 PM PST - 19 comments

Who killed my daughter?

A long form piece on the still unsolved murder of Kait Arquette, daughter of novelist Lois Duncan. “I went weak after Kait’s murder,” Lois said. “How could I even think about creating a novel with a young woman in a life-threatening situation?”
posted by stoneweaver at 1:12 PM PST - 18 comments

"There is hope!"

As the West African Ebola epidemic stretches into its 10th month: researchers have identified the likely cause of the initial outbreak: a young boy playing with bats in a village in Guinea. The NY Times considers how the opportunity to contain the epidemic was missed and the effects of Ebola on West African economies. Vanity Fair takes a look at the failure to contain the disease within Guinea, Frontline goes to "Ground Zero" in Guinea, and searches for a missing Ebola patient. Meanwhile, West Africans welcomed Christmas (previously) and the New Year. Africa Stop Ebola!
posted by ChuraChura at 12:30 PM PST - 14 comments

Indifference is a power

Why Stoicism is one of the best mind-hacks ever. "As legions of warriors and prisoners can attest, Stoicism is not grim resolve but a way to wrest happiness from adversity." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 12:30 PM PST - 70 comments

Elly May has passed away

Donna Douglas, who played Elly May Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, has died at the age of 81. Her surviving co-star, Max Baer Jr., says "She Was Elly May Until The Day She Died". Here's a reprint of a profile of the "Prettiest of the Beverly Hillbillies*" from Parade magazine from almost 50 years ago. *which, from what I remember of the show, was faint praise.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:19 PM PST - 32 comments

“My mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates."

3D food printing seems to be the next big thing - Create everything... out of chocolate.
posted by misaac at 8:51 AM PST - 32 comments


Maotanchang caters mostly to such students and prides itself on eliminating the distractions of modern life. Cellphones and laptops are forbidden; the dormitories, where roughly half the students live, were designed without electrical outlets. Romance is banned.

Inside the Chinese cram school, “there’s nothing to do but study.”
posted by four panels at 8:48 AM PST - 66 comments

From That Guy On Your Fantasy Football Team, With Love

From That Guy On Your Fantasy Football Team, With Love — Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas writes for The Players' Tribune about the pros and cons of being a prominent fantasy football asset
posted by tonycpsu at 8:47 AM PST - 19 comments

B is for Bono

U2 frontman Bono Vox writes an end-of-the-year letter.
posted by chavenet at 8:16 AM PST - 89 comments

Hamlet on the Hudson

The same day that his son, Andrew, was inaugurated as the second term governor of New York, Mario Cuomo died yesterday at the age of 82. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:51 AM PST - 36 comments

Let's shop outside the box

The most pointlessly gendered children's toys in 2014. The 2013 awards. [more inside]
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 5:30 AM PST - 104 comments

Follow the trend lines, not the headlines.

How can we get a less hyperbolic assessment of the state of the world? Certainly not from daily journalism. News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen. We never see a reporter saying to the camera, “Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out”—or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up. As long as violence has not vanished from the world, there will always be enough incidents to fill the evening news. And since the human mind estimates probability by the ease with which it can recall examples, newsreaders will always perceive that they live in dangerous times.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:11 AM PST - 36 comments

"facts are chiels that winna ding and canna be disputed"

So the question of Why We Lost? is really why did 33% of the electorate who are Heart Yes vote Head No?
Gordon Guthrie on Scottish Independence: why we lost.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:07 AM PST - 44 comments

Melk Abbey

Melk Abbey is a Benedictine abbey founded in 1089 CE in the Wachau valley, Lower Austria. Today's baroque abbey was built in the early 18th century. A dozen 360 panoramas of the interior and exterior of the abbey. Three more 360 panoramas, including the library. Melk Abbey-Austria-UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Danube and Melk Abbey. [more inside]
posted by cwest at 1:48 AM PST - 6 comments

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