October 9, 2017

Tokyo Is Preparing for Floods ‘Beyond Anything We’ve Seen.’

Tokyo Is Preparing for Floods ‘Beyond Anything We’ve Seen’ In light of flooding in major cities in the US, the NY Times covers Tokyo's Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel (首都圏外郭放水路 shutoken gaikaku hōsuiro), the world's largest underground flood water diversion facility. [more inside]
posted by gen at 10:09 PM PST - 15 comments

"Save your favourite dildo, but throw away the other 15!"

Let’s get it out of the way right now: Swedish death cleaning is a little bit morbid. The idea is that when people die they leave stuff. Lots of stuff. Reams and reams of it, piles and piles of it. And it’s friends and family that are left to dealt with this stuff surfeit, this surplus of minutae. That’s where Döstädning comes in. In Sweden, people start the process as early as their ‘50s, slowly but steadily decluttering as the years roll by.
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:40 PM PST - 69 comments

“I’ve seen this raw strength only once before”

The second trailer for “The Last Jedi” has been released.
posted by New Frontier at 7:40 PM PST - 278 comments

When Workers Aren't Even Involved in the Means of Production

"This is the real danger of a universal basic income – it makes the citizens unnecessary to the government." We have discussed unemployment, economic surpluses, and UBI here before, but I hadn't seen this thought-provoking concern. (A year or so of earlier, earlier, and earlier.
posted by twsf at 7:28 PM PST - 58 comments

“Where are you from?”

Native or Invasive "Like India, lantana as it is today in the Indian wild did not exist back in the seventeenth century. The plant has hybridized, many times. From its hybridity comes a kind of strength—the ability to thrive in a wide range of harsh environments. In Hindi there is a word corresponding to that kind of adaptability: jugaad, roughly translated as “making do.” Take the resources that you have and transform them into whatever it is you need. Improvise, adapt, and grow. In its capacity for jugaad, if nothing else, lantana is actually very Indian." [via]
posted by dhruva at 6:16 PM PST - 13 comments

Gonzo Oobah

How far can you take the notion of an all you can eat buffet? And other questions you never knew you had. Oobah Butler will go to great lengths for the sake of journalism. Real gonzo stuff here. Inserting himself into his stories gives him one of the freshest perspectives on the web. [more inside]
posted by holmesian at 5:29 PM PST - 29 comments

“Its charming inoffensiveness is at the root of its insidious politics.”

Why does Hollywood keep churning out racist fantasies like ‘Victoria & Abdul’? by Bilal Qureshi [The Washington Post] ““Victoria & Abdul,” [YouTube][Trailer] is keenly aware of that history and yet intentionally chooses to keep its audience entertained on the lush grounds of Victoria’s palaces, parlors and gardens. We see the empire as she did: a confection, a distant dream, a realm of personal prizes. For a film about the legacy of a global empire, that is intentionally and unforgivably narrow. Abdul’s world is shown through hazy and cliched scenes of exotic marketplaces and in the distant tourist views of a glimmering Taj Mahal. There is no real conversation or parity between Victoria and Abdul. In the screenplay, his character is simply there to serve as her Manic Pixie Dream Brownie. There are several scenes of him simply collapsing to the ground to kiss her feet. Abdul joins a long line of South Asian male characters relegated to prop status in Hollywood features. Once they were silent servants in black and white adventure films a la “Gunga Din,” then accented comedic sidekicks or exotic freak shows, and in recent years, terrorist villains in newsy thrillers. In “Victoria & Abdul,” he is an object of exotic eroticism.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:51 PM PST - 52 comments

Inside the CIA's black site torture room

There were twenty cells inside the prison, each a stand-alone concrete box. In sixteen, prisoners were shackled to a metal ring in the wall. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 1:47 PM PST - 34 comments

Two Dream Jobs

Manager of the Magic Castle in Hollywood is the first one. And the second one is an Angler/Archer/Woodsman who is a sage at heart.
posted by MovableBookLady at 12:45 PM PST - 15 comments

Gaming Beyond the Iron Curtain

In Gaming Beyond the Iron Curtain: East Germany, Super Bunnyhop discusses the parallel development of technology and video games in East Germany during the cold war.
posted by lkc at 11:16 AM PST - 20 comments

"You guys have some sort of rallying cry?" ... "Try not to die."

The first trailer for Marvel's Runaways on Hulu is here. [more inside]
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:02 AM PST - 30 comments

The literal sound came to be used figuratively as a rhetorical interrupt

*Record scratch*

Freeze Frame.

Yep, that's the introduction to this post. You're probably wondering why I started with this cliche, but it all began with Merriam-Webster... *wavey flashback motion*
posted by MartinWisse at 10:44 AM PST - 16 comments

Googly Eyes

Hilarious Kinetic Eye Sculptures by Lucas Zanotto via This Is Colossal [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 10:08 AM PST - 5 comments

Why celebrate Columbus, and who else to celebrate instead

On October 12, 1492, Columbus made landfall in the "New World," reaching the Bahamian island that he named San Salvador (called Guanahaní by the native Taíno people). Why did the U.S. start to celebrate Columbus? To celebrate Italian heritage, and respond to anti-Italian sentiments. But why celebrate Columbus now? That's just history, and history is told by those currently in power. What else to celebrate today? Many cities celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, especially in states that still call it Columbus Day, while some celebrate specific individuals, like Standing Bear in Nebraska and Po'Pay and the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:37 AM PST - 46 comments

State of state

Dexter Filkins profiles Rex Tillerson, United States Secretary of State, for the New Yorker : The Breaking Point - "In an interview with a conservative Web site, Tillerson alluded to his ambivalence. “I didn’t want this job,” he said. “My wife told me I’m supposed to do this.”" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:27 AM PST - 96 comments

You're a Wizard, Morgan!

On Friday night in Montreal, 16-year-old Morgan Hurd won the women’s all-around title at the World Gymnastics Championship. Miss Hurd wasn’t expected to be the United States’ top contender. She finished sixth in this year’s U.S. championships and until this weekend had no “career highlights” listed in her official USA Gymnastics biography. But now, thanks to her own breakthrough performances and injuries sustained by other gymnasts, she is champion of the world. The feat also earned her high praise from her favorite author. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:52 AM PST - 16 comments

From Lorne and Gwendoline to Zainab and Linden

The most Canadian names, decade-by-decade. Bonus: The most loved Canadian books. The most loved Canadian movies. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 4:47 AM PST - 31 comments

Closer to Perfect Smile

Here's a fan edit of the legendary Smile album by the Beach Boys. As there have been lots of fan edits of this album this doesn't seem very special on it's own, were it not that this one is particulary well done. In my ears the album sounds more coherent and like a finished product than ever before. [more inside]
posted by Kosmob0t at 3:57 AM PST - 13 comments

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