December 1, 2011

The Spyfiles

Mass interception of entire populations is not only a reality, it is a secret new industry spanning 25 countries. Warning: SLWL? (Single Link Wikileaks)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:57 PM PST - 39 comments

We have just gotten a wake-up call from the Nintendo Generation.

New evidence suggests that the Conficker worm may have been developed by the U.S. Government.
posted by 256 at 10:48 PM PST - 53 comments

A selection of Kubrick's photojournalism

Stanley Kubrick's New York and Chicago [ via ]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:35 PM PST - 10 comments

Happiness distilled

Celtics Fan Celebration Yeah!
posted by growabrain at 10:29 PM PST - 14 comments

German bagpipes, y'all

I've been enjoying listening to this German guy playing the German bagpipes. That is, the Hümmelchen. Check out the cool tuning maneuver at the 0:57 mark of this clip for some hot Hümmelchen tuning action! And here he employs a groovy canned beat. Ya! He also dabbles in the Irish pipes, and loans out his workshop on occasion as a spot for some of the locals to get a little wild. Oh, and, of course, he also plays the Rauschpfeife. Yes, the Rauschpfeife. Hören!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:01 PM PST - 16 comments

Blade miracles

Can a master swordsman cut a bullet in flight? Isao Machii can.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:54 PM PST - 47 comments

Pinkie, you gotta stand up tall

Here is a death metal cover of Laughter Song, a.k.a. "Giggle at the Ghostly," (lyrics) from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, performed by Hatesteed. Original version. SLYT
posted by JHarris at 9:46 PM PST - 22 comments

Texts From Bennett

Bennett and I discuss joining the Illuminati. "These are text messages I exchange with my 17-year-old cousin Bennett... one of the most unintentionally funny and brilliant souls on the planet. He has no idea I do this blog. Yes, this is 100% real." [NSFWtext; TumblrFilter]
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:41 PM PST - 105 comments

The Goods on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Oren Etzioni is a renowned data mining expert who sold Farecast, his airline-ticket price predictor to Microsoft for $115 million. Now he's turned his focus to the general problem of finding when the best shopping bargains occur. Punch in a consumer electronics item and his website will tell you whether to buy now or to wait. Over time he'll be adding more product categories. In any case, he can tell you right now the best prices for most things aren't on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
posted by storybored at 8:41 PM PST - 14 comments

Alberto Giacometti

One afternoon in September 1958, a beautiful, distinguished and mysterious woman arrived at the door of number 46 rue Hippolyte Maindron. This was the Paris studio where Alberto Giacometti had been working since 1926, having arrived in the city four years earlier. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 7:22 PM PST - 8 comments

‘Où est le sang de Roland Barthes?’

But like many an inarticulate young lover, I thought for a time that seduction was a matter of giving the right book to the right woman. In my case it was Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse: a meditation on Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther that catalogues the melancholic lover’s prized ‘image repertoire’ – the scene of waiting, the feeling of being dissolved in the presence of the loved being, the attraction of suicide – and thinly veils the author’s own life as a middle-aged gay man in Paris in the 1970s. This gift was always a prelude to disaster.
RB and Me: An Education is an essay by Brian G. Dillon about his relationship with the books of French philosopher Roland Barthes. It's also a lovely autobiography of an awkward boy finding his place in life. Dillon's website collects his essays, and is trove of interesting insight. Besides writing essays and fiction, Dillon is also the UK editor of Cabinet Magazine, and you can read a fair number of his articles online, including ones on Beau Brummel and the cravat, hypochondria and hydrotherapy.
posted by Kattullus at 6:33 PM PST - 4 comments


Fire tests on the International Space Station are showing some really neat results, including that fire can burn in microgravity at lower temperatures and with less oxygen. Video included at the link. [more inside]
posted by odinsdream at 6:22 PM PST - 23 comments

The Sound and the G-dd---ed F---ing Fury

David Milch, creator of NYPD Blue and Deadwood, has inked a deal with HBO to produce television shows and movies from the literary works of William Faulkner.

“I’m not, probably, the first person they would have thought of approaching them,” Mr. Milch said in a phone interview, referring to his months-long discussions with the William Faulkner Literary Estate. “But a number of conversations were fruitful and here we are.”

Faulkner previously; Milch previously
posted by not_the_water at 6:14 PM PST - 32 comments

Kagemu's Black Sun

Black Sun is a meticulously choreographed projection of motiongraphics onto dance, combining traditional and modern elements of Japanese culture and martial arts. Artist Nobuyuki Hanabusa and dancer Katsumi Sakakura, together known as Kagemu, have since been widely imitated by others, including Beyoncé. [more inside]
posted by klausman at 4:37 PM PST - 7 comments

Street Skiing in Nelson, BC

Street Skiing in Nelson, BC. Gorgeous cinematography of skiing down the snowy climbs and alleyways in city of Nelson BC. Watch the sparks fly. [Vimeo]
posted by dobie at 4:32 PM PST - 39 comments

The History of English

How new words are created - just one section of a site that charts 'How English went from an obscure Germanic dialect to a global language'.
posted by unliteral at 4:29 PM PST - 37 comments

“I miss the crowd.”

"One thing about life in New York: wherever you are, the neighborhood is always changing. An Italian enclave becomes Senegalese; a historically African-American corridor becomes a magnet for white professionals. The accents and rhythms shift; the aromas become spicy or vegetal. The transition is sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy. But there is a sense of loss among the people left behind, wondering what happened to the neighborhood they once thought of as their own." For Sophia Goldberg (98), Holocaust survivor, change has meant the end of a way of life.
posted by zarq at 3:49 PM PST - 34 comments

The spider-whisperers

Habronattus dossenus / Jumping Spider Mating Dance (with Sound!) [more inside]
posted by eagle-bear at 3:41 PM PST - 23 comments

Richard Yates and Larry David

Revolutionary Road author Richard Yates was the inspiration for the character Alton Benes, Elaine's father, in the memorable Seinfeld episode The Jacket. The backstory to this episode as well as details about Yate's complex relationship with David Milch are discussed here. [more inside]
posted by beisny at 3:22 PM PST - 5 comments

Finding Oregon

Finding Oregon is the compilation of six months of timelapse photography across the state of Oregon, punctuated by a 1600 mile road trip in September. Related: how to lose $2400 in 24 seconds.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 3:05 PM PST - 12 comments

a wasp as small as an amoeba

How fairy wasps cope with being smaller than amoebas. They're so small that they lay their eggs inside the eggs of thrips. Their brains are 50 times less complex than houseflies' brains. They're only the third smallest insect! (video) [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 2:58 PM PST - 37 comments

Lost Episode of "Cosmos" Found

A never-aired fourteenth episode of Carl Sagan's groundbreaking PBS show Cosmos has been discovered, detailing the one of the strangest planets yet discovered. (SLYT)
posted by murphy slaw at 2:17 PM PST - 24 comments

Traffic deaths: leading cause of death among Americans ages 5 to 34.

Study shows medical marijuana laws reduce traffic deaths. 'A groundbreaking new study shows that laws legalizing medical marijuana have resulted in a nearly nine percent drop in traffic deaths and a five percent reduction in beer sales.' 'The study is the first to examine the relationship between the legalization of medical marijuana and traffic deaths.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 1:54 PM PST - 74 comments

Our new insect overlord would like a carrot

Former park ranger Mark W Moffett (aka Doctor Bugs) has found a Giant Weta on Little Barrier Island in New Zealand that might be the world's heaviest insect. It weighs three times more than a mouse. Oh yeah, it also eats carrots.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 1:35 PM PST - 75 comments

The Shape Of Things To Come (Down From The Sky)

PacMan is SO last year. The current king of retro gaming 'look' is the Space Invader, with Waffles (as part of an art installation, or DIY) and Chocolate! Or you can knit an Invader with a free pattern or take the San Diego Space Invader Walk.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:27 PM PST - 18 comments

C.G.P. Grey

Here is Coffee: The Greatest Addiction Ever and other neat videos by C.G.P. Grey who explains non-obvious aspects of science, history, geography, elections, and economics in entertaining and clear ways. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 12:00 PM PST - 20 comments

Reams of Eames

Tired of designing yet another fancy-ass chair? Join the No Chair Design Challenge for 2012 [warning: no website design], with a handy video tutorial on how not to design chairs. [via] [more inside]
posted by benzenedream at 11:47 AM PST - 47 comments

Perhaps you will discover some new Christmas favourites this year?

"Once more we're starting to look forward to Christmas. Whilst the shops are advertising all the material things we can look foward to, we're despatching enjoyment in the form of music - treasures from Christmases gone by." - musical advent calendars from the Norwegian Institute for Recorded Sound.
posted by bubukaba at 11:43 AM PST - 3 comments

Fingers crossed

Australian Labor Party's 46th National Conference starts today in Sydney. Key agenda items - Gay marriage, refugees, and Uranium sale to India. Follow it live.
posted by vidur at 11:42 AM PST - 39 comments

LIFF (n.) A book, the contents of which are totally belied by its cover.

"In Life, there are many hundreds of common experiences, feelings, situations and even objects which we all know and recognize, but for which no words exist. On the other hand, the world is littered with thousands of spare words which spend their time doing nothing but loafing about on signposts pointing at places. Our job, as we see it, is to get these words down off the signposts and into the mouths of babes and sucklings and so on, where they can start earning their keep in everyday conversation and make a more positive contribution to society. " -- Douglas Adams, on The Meaning of Liff. And because it's Adams, there are some internet pages for your enjoyment. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:40 AM PST - 18 comments

But the wine and the song, like the seasons, all have gone.

So long, Napster.
posted by griphus at 11:32 AM PST - 61 comments

Always Get Someone a Glass of Water

Roderick on the Line - An audio program in which Mefi's Own Mr. Merlin Mann and Mr. John Roderick of the Long Winters discuss their many problems, including pixxxxxie grrrls, Rem Koolhaus, corporeal punishment, Goodwill organization, and many others. It lends itself to in-jokes.
posted by Apropos of Something at 11:20 AM PST - 11 comments

Suit against banks

Massachusetts AG Sues 5 Biggest Banks The first suit by a state attorney general to address the robosigning allegations of last fall, the suit may signal the failure of the talks among the 50 state attorney's general, federal regulators, and the big banks. (Previously). The most interesting aspects of the suit may be its allegations about mortgage modifications, however, which are new. (Attorney General's full complaint here.) [more inside]
posted by Diablevert at 11:10 AM PST - 94 comments

Hornlets and hornlings.

Specimen products is the workshop of Ian Schneller, a Chicago-based sculptor-turned-luthier. His site is worth a look if you are interested in unusual guitars and other stringed instruments (like this electic lute), eccentric amplifiers and speakers, or extreme guitar repair. Currently Schneller is collaberating with musician Andrew Bird on Sonic Arboretum, a musical perfomance/installation piece. Here is video of a performance at the Guggenheim in 2010, and a slideshow of the preparations for an upcoming performance at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.
posted by gamera at 10:35 AM PST - 9 comments

In Japan, they farm like this; in American, they farm like that.

Japan's youth, unable to find jobs in the city, look to life on the farm. [more inside]
posted by asnider at 8:52 AM PST - 36 comments

Posh kids only

The BBC Micro is 30 years old today. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:51 AM PST - 27 comments

Santastic: Christmas Mashups

Holiday mash-ups, alternate treatments and bootleg remixes: Santastic I - II - III - IV - V
Menorah Mashups
A Very Re:Composition Christmas
A Very Bootie Christmas [more inside]
posted by Mwongozi at 8:49 AM PST - 15 comments

Will it Bend?

History and invention of the bendy straw
posted by exogenous at 8:07 AM PST - 21 comments

Awkward Family Pet Photos

Awkward Family Pet Photos, from the people who brought you Awkward Family Photos. The Huffington Post offers a bit of a backstory on the creators.
posted by gman at 7:56 AM PST - 45 comments

Table 7

A couple has an intimate conversation in a restaurant, unaware that their every word is being closely monitored. This is Table 7, a short film from indie filmmaker Marko Slavnic.
posted by jbickers at 6:40 AM PST - 37 comments

Light My Fire

iPhones, laptops, the Chevy Volt, and airplanes all have something in common - fires caused by lithium batteries. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 6:31 AM PST - 39 comments

Codebreakers Of The World Unite!

Can You Crack It?
posted by veedubya at 6:15 AM PST - 55 comments


This holiday season, if you plan on decorating your home with lights, why not put in some Cheerlights, a set of lights linked to a controller that responds to tweets. Instructional Video using Arduino, ioBridge, and Color Effects LED lighting. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 6:09 AM PST - 9 comments


Contrary to initial reports, the evictions of Occupy L.A. encampments were marked by police violence and hundreds of arrests. Journalists who ignored the prohibition on live coverage were expressly targeted by the LAPD.
posted by clarknova at 5:18 AM PST - 55 comments

Fugazi, Live: "When we played, we wanted it to be like a free fall."

Between 1987 and 2003, Fugazi played over 1000 concerts in all 50 states and all over the world. Over 800 of these shows were recorded by the band's sound engineers. The goal of this project is to make each of these recordings available to download for a small fee. The standard suggested download price is $5 a show but they also offer a sliding scale option where you can set your own price. (Bonus Banter)
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:00 AM PST - 58 comments

Meet Buck.

Meet Buck. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by beaucoupkevin at 4:57 AM PST - 10 comments


In 2008, Barack Obama lit a fire among young activists. Next year, Occupy Wall Street could consume him.
posted by moorooka at 3:57 AM PST - 132 comments

Two, not one, singularities

With everything rolling towards the abyss, our only hope for a bright future seems to be the Singularity, a technological transformation of what it means to be human. But in a talk for TEDx Brussels, science fiction and horror writer John Shirley argues that there are really two Singularities — and yes, everything will be terrible in the short term. So why is he optimistic about the future of the human race? Read on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:36 AM PST - 53 comments

Bubblegum on Cardboard

Less lenient mothers would make their kids finish the cereal before attacking the box with scissors. Cereal box records introduced a generation of children to bubblegum pop. [more inside]
posted by Knappster at 3:07 AM PST - 20 comments

Famous in Belgium

After a record-breaking year-and-a-half of negotiations to form a Belgian government following the June 2010 general elections [previously], a six-party coalition has finally reached an agreement. While this is noteworthy enough, the character who has finally achieved the seemingly impossible and is set to become Belgium's first Francophone Prime Minister since 1974 is possibly even more interesting: meet Elio di Rupo. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 2:10 AM PST - 35 comments

The Crash Course

Economic analyst Chris Martenson explains why he thinks that the coming 20 years are going to look completely unlike the last 20 years.
posted by mhjb at 1:22 AM PST - 69 comments

Automato Triumphant

Ketchupbot v. picnic food. Ketchupbot, aka Automato, and the Catsup Crapper have been around since 2007, the invention of a trio of MIT students. Automato outtakes. Automato teaches its art to a smaller sibling. Catsup Crapper meets Martha Stewart.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 12:56 AM PST - 15 comments

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